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wisp

[wisp] /wɪsp/
noun
1.
a handful or small bundle of straw, hay, or the like.
2.
any thin tuft, lock, mass, etc.:
wisps of hair.
3.
a thin puff or streak, as of smoke; slender trace.
4.
a person or thing that is small, delicate, or barely discernible:
a mere wisp of a lad; a wisp of a frown.
5.
a whisk broom.
6.
Chiefly British Dialect.
  1. a pad or twist of straw, as used to rub down a horse.
  2. a twisted bit of straw used as a torch.
7.
a will-o'-the-wisp or ignis fatuus.
verb (used with object)
8.
to twist into a wisp.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English wisp, wips; akin to wipe
Related forms
wisplike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for wisps
  • Even in the height of summer, wisps of snow crown the jagged mountain peaks that surround the town on three sides.
  • If you see the wisps, there's still water in the mixture.
  • He was hunched and dried-out, with random wisps of white hair falling over his ears and neck.
  • wisps of hair floated around their temples, and their faces were expressionless.
  • wisps of white hair lilting as the trucks whizzed by.
  • Soft wisps of hair fall loosely over the ears and forehead.
  • His lively face is round, with wisps of grey hair now astride a balding top.
British Dictionary definitions for wisps

wisp

/wɪsp/
noun
1.
a thin, light, delicate, or fibrous piece or strand, such as a streak of smoke or a lock of hair
2.
a small bundle, as of hay or straw
3.
anything slender and delicate: a wisp of a girl
4.
a mere suggestion or hint
5.
a flock of birds, esp snipe
verb
6.
(intransitive) often foll by away. to move or act like a wisp
7.
(transitive) (mainly Brit, dialect) to twist into a wisp
8.
(transitive) (mainly Brit) to groom (a horse) with a wisp of straw, etc
Derived Forms
wisplike, adjective
Word Origin
C14: variant of wips, of obscure origin; compare wipe

WISP

/wɪsp/
noun acronym
1.
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
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Word Origin and History for wisps

wisp

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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