Ignes fatui
Ignis fatuus Ig"nis fat"u*us; pl. {Ignes fatui}. [L. ignis fire + fatuus foolish. So called in allusion to its tendency to mislead travelers.] 1. A phosphorescent light that appears, in the night, over marshy ground, supposed to be occasioned by the decomposition of animal or vegetable substances, or by some inflammable gas; -- popularly called also {Will-with-the-wisp}, or {Will-o'-the-wisp}, and {Jack-with-a-lantern}, or {Jack-o'-lantern}. [1913 Webster]

2. Fig.: A misleading influence; a decoy. [1913 Webster]

Scared and guided by the ignis fatuus of popular superstition. --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Ignis fatuus — Ig nis fat u*us; pl. {Ignes fatui}. [L. ignis fire + fatuus foolish. So called in allusion to its tendency to mislead travelers.] 1. A phosphorescent light that appears, in the night, over marshy ground, supposed to be occasioned by the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Jack-o'-lantern — Ignis fatuus Ig nis fat u*us; pl. {Ignes fatui}. [L. ignis fire + fatuus foolish. So called in allusion to its tendency to mislead travelers.] 1. A phosphorescent light that appears, in the night, over marshy ground, supposed to be occasioned by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Jack-with-a-lantern — Ignis fatuus Ig nis fat u*us; pl. {Ignes fatui}. [L. ignis fire + fatuus foolish. So called in allusion to its tendency to mislead travelers.] 1. A phosphorescent light that appears, in the night, over marshy ground, supposed to be occasioned by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Meteor — Me te*or, n. [F. m[ e]t[ e]ore, Gr. ?, pl. ? things in the air, fr. ? high in air, raised off the ground; ? beyond + ?, ?, a suspension or hovering in the air, fr. ? to lift, raise up.] [1913 Webster] 1. Any phenomenon or appearance in the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shooting star — Meteor Me te*or, n. [F. m[ e]t[ e]ore, Gr. ?, pl. ? things in the air, fr. ? high in air, raised off the ground; ? beyond + ?, ?, a suspension or hovering in the air, fr. ? to lift, raise up.] [1913 Webster] 1. Any phenomenon or appearance in the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Will-o'-the-wisp — Ignis fatuus Ig nis fat u*us; pl. {Ignes fatui}. [L. ignis fire + fatuus foolish. So called in allusion to its tendency to mislead travelers.] 1. A phosphorescent light that appears, in the night, over marshy ground, supposed to be occasioned by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • ignis fatuus — noun (plural ignes fatui) Etymology: Medieval Latin, literally, foolish fire Date: 1563 1. a light that sometimes appears in the night over marshy ground and is often attributable to the combustion of gas from decomposed organic matter 2. a… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Philip Guedalla — (March 12 1889 – December 16 1944) was a British barrister, and a popular historical and travel writer and biographer. He is remembered now mainly for a biography of the Duke of Wellington, and his wit and epigrams, one example being Even… …   Wikipedia

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