will-o'-the-wisp

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will-o'-the-wisp,

phenomenon known also as ignis fatuus and jack-o'-lantern. It is seen at night as a pale, flickering light over marshland. There is no generally accepted explanation for it; it may result from the spontaneous ignition of gases (e.g., methane) produced by the disintegration of dead plant or animal matter, or it may be a form of phosphorescence. The eerie lights have given rise to many superstitions.
References in periodicals archive ?
He concludes that a satisfactory solution is a will-of-the-wisp and that health care will be in a perpetual state of reform.
While companies need IT, their needs are more alike than different--like telephone service, thus the much-vaunted competitive advantage is a will-of-the-wisp.
Players to watch Caerphilly: Luke Richards Caerphilly: Luke Richards A will-of-the-wisp fly-half from the old school with bags of natural ability.