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  1. a human being.
  2. Obsolete.
    1. a supernatural being, as a witch or sprite.
    2. any living being; a creature.

Origin of wight1

before 900; Middle English, Old English wiht; cognate with German Wicht, Old Norse vēttr, Gothic waiht


adjective British Dialect.
  1. strong and brave, especially in war.
  2. active; nimble.

Origin of wight2

1175–1225; Middle English < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse vīgt, neuter of vīgr able to fight


  1. Isle of, an island off the S coast of England, forming an administrative division of Hampshire. 147 sq. mi. (381 sq. km). County seat: Newport.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wight

Historical Examples

  • The yacht, as we before observed, was bound to Cowes, in the Isle of Wight.

    The Pirate and The Three Cutters

    Frederick Marryat

  • Seen from the west the Wight is beautiful beyond all laws of beauty.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • He was formally arrested by Wight and committed for trial by the Inspector.

  • What wight have you to cwout yourthelf into a theat bethide a gentleman, thir?

  • I see, by the course you are steering, that you are making for the Isle of Wight.

    No Surrender!

    G. A. Henty

British Dictionary definitions for wight


  1. archaic a human being

Word Origin

Old English wiht; related to Old Frisian āwet something, Old Norse vǣttr being, Gothic waihts thing, German Wicht small person


  1. archaic strong and brave; valiant

Word Origin

C13: from Old Norse vigt; related to Old English wīg battle, Latin vincere to conquer


  1. Isle of Wight an island and county of S England in the English Channel. Administrative centre: Newport. Pop: 136 300 (2003 est). Area: 380 sq km (147 sq miles)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for wight


Old English wiht "living being, creature," from Proto-Germanic *wekhtiz (cf. Old Saxon wiht "thing, demon," Dutch wicht "a little child," Old High German wiht "thing, creature, demon," German Wicht "creature, infant," Old Norse vettr "thing, creature," Swedish vätte "spirit of the earth, gnome," Gothic waihts "something"). The only apparent cognate outside Germanic is Old Church Slavonic vešti "a thing." Not related to the Isle of Wight, which is from Latin Vectis (c.150), originally Celtic, possibly meaning "place of the division."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper