[ wisp ]
/ wɪsp /
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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.
verb (used with object)
to twist into a wisp.
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Origin of wisp
1300–50; Middle English wisp, wips; akin to wipe
OTHER WORDS FROM wispwisplike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use wisp in a sentence
In spite of his smock-frock and his straw-wisped hat, and his false whiskers, black as Erebus, she knew him for her brother.East Lynne|Mrs. Henry Wood
I saw by the way she wisped the shawl round her full white chin that I was welcome to pass her if I would.An Isle in the Water|Katharine Tynan
British Dictionary definitions for wisp (1 of 2)
/ (wɪsp) /
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
Derived forms of wispwisplike, adjective
Word Origin for wisp
C14: variant of wips, of obscure origin; compare wipe
British Dictionary definitions for wisp (2 of 2)
/ (wɪsp) /
n acronym for
Wireless Information Service Provider: an internet service provider set up to deal with and deliver internet services to clients through wireless access points
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