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Fata Morgana

[Italian fah-tah mawr-gah-nah] /Italian ˈfɑ tɑ mɔrˈgɑ nɑ/
noun
1.
Meteorology. a mirage consisting of multiple images, as of cliffs and buildings, that are distorted and magnified to resemble elaborate castles, often seen near the Straits of Messina.
Origin of Fata Morgana
1810-1820
1810-20; < Italian, translation of Morgan le Fay, associated in literature with magical castles
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Fata Morgana
Historical Examples
  • But Nature, as if to take away the reproach of permitting such a vast blotch on her fair face, kindly threw in Fata Morgana.

  • Could it be water, or was it only the mirage—the Fata Morgana?

    The Desert Home Mayne Reid
  • We also read (p. 119) of the Fata Morgana and other similar appearances.

  • Was it only a delusive appearance, a Fata Morgana of the desert?

    The Daughter of an Empress Louise Muhlbach
  • "Like the Fata Morgana of the desert, I am all things to all men," she said.

    Under the Witches' Moon Nathan Gallizier
  • Some of the finest examples of Fata Morgana are witnessed in the polar regions.

    Meteorology Charles Fitzhugh Talman
  • The Fata Morgana, in which two or three reflections of objects occur at the same time.

    The Reason Why Anonymous
  • This is the Fata Morgana, which for twenty-six years I had thought a mere fable.

  • She is a coming and vanishing creature of alluring but destructive power, a sort of Japanese version of Fata Morgana.

    Myths & Legends of Japan F. Hadland (Frederick Hadland) Davis
  • It was just the day for the Fata Morgana's elfin extravagances.

    Tales From Jkai Mr Jkai
British Dictionary definitions for Fata Morgana

Fata Morgana

/ˈfɑːtə mɔːˈɡɑːnə; Italian ˈfaːta mɔrˈɡaːna/
noun
1.
a mirage, esp one in the Strait of Messina attributed to the sorcery of Morgan le Fay
Word Origin
C19: from Italian: Morgan le Fay
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
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Word Origin and History for Fata Morgana
n.

1818, literally "Fairy Morgana," mirage especially common in the Strait of Messina, Italy, from Morgana, the "Morgan le Fay" of Anglo-French poetry, sister of King Arthur, located in Calabria by Norman settlers. Morgan is Welsh, "sea-dweller." There is perhaps, too, here an influence of Arabic marjan, literally "pearl," also a fem. proper name, popularly the name of a sorceress.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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