- a handful or small bundle of straw, hay, or the like.
- any thin tuft, lock, mass, etc.: wisps of hair.
- a thin puff or streak, as of smoke; slender trace.
- a person or thing that is small, delicate, or barely discernible: a mere wisp of a lad; a wisp of a frown.
- a whisk broom.
- Chiefly British Dialect.
- a pad or twist of straw, as used to rub down a horse.
- a twisted bit of straw used as a torch.
- a will-o'-the-wisp or ignis fatuus.
- to twist into a wisp.
Origin of wisp
Examples from the Web for wisp
Contemporary Examples of wisp
A thin man with a wisp of a goatee beard, he struggles with a stutter to explain what happened to him that day.Photographs Expose Russian-Trained Killers in Kiev
March 30, 2014
Historical Examples of wisp
"Sure I'm only rowling a wisp of straw on my leg," replied Hosey.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
Good Indian twisted a wisp of mane in his fingers, and frowned abstractedly.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
She withdrew her arm from his and struck him lightly with a wisp of hay.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
The visitor, by its attraction, drew from the nebula a wisp of gas.The Meaning of Evolution
Samuel Christian Schmucker
A wisp of her hair caressed his right ear, but somehow did not relax his temper.The Trimming of Goosie
- a thin, light, delicate, or fibrous piece or strand, such as a streak of smoke or a lock of hair
- a small bundle, as of hay or straw
- anything slender and delicatea wisp of a girl
- a mere suggestion or hint
- a flock of birds, esp snipe
- (intr often foll by away) to move or act like a wisp
- (tr) mainly British dialect to twist into a wisp
- (tr) mainly British to groom (a horse) with a wisp of straw, etc
Word Origin for wisp
- Wireless Information Service Provider: an internet service provider set up to deal with and deliver internet services to clients through wireless access points
Word Origin and History for wisp
c.1300, "handful or bundle of hay, grass, etc.," used for burning or cleaning or as a cushion; perhaps from an unrecorded Old English word, cognate with Norwegian and Swedish visp "wisp," of unknown origin; sometimes said to be connected with whisk or with Middle Low German and Middle Dutch wispel "a measure of grain." Meaning "thin, filmy portion" first attested 1836.