an apparition of a living person supposed to portend his or her death.
a visible spirit.

1505–15; originally Scots; origin uncertain

wraithlike, adjective

wraith, wreath, wreathe, writhe.
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World English Dictionary
wraith (reɪθ)
1.  the apparition of a person living or thought to be alive, supposed to appear around the time of his death
2.  a ghost or any apparition
3.  an insubstantial copy of something
4.  something pale, thin, and lacking in substance, such as a column of smoke
[C16: Scottish, of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1513, "ghost," Scottish, of uncertain origin. Weekley suggests O.N. vorðr "guardian" in the sense of "guardian angel." Klein points to Gael., Ir. arrach "specter, apparition."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Now he is a stooped wraith unable to focus his eyes, bathe himself or walk without help.
As listless, pounding or archly chipper music plays, still photos of one wraith after another surface and fade.
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