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.

1300–50; Middle English wisp, wips; akin to wipe

wisplike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wisp (wɪsp)
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
vb (often foll by away)
6.  to move or act like a wisp
7.  dialect chiefly (Brit) (tr) to twist into a wisp
8.  chiefly (Brit) (tr) to groom (a horse) with a wisp of straw, etc
[C14: variant of wips, of obscure origin; compare wipe]

WISP (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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "handful or bundle of hay, grass, etc.," used for burning or cleaning or as a cushion; perhaps from an unrecorded O.E. word, cognate with Norw. and Swed. visp "wisp," of unknown origin; sometimes said to be connected with whisk or with M.L.G. and M.Du. wispel "a measure of grain." Meaning "thin,
filmy portion" first attested 1836.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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