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wraith

[reyth] /reɪθ/
noun
1.
an apparition of a living person supposed to portend his or her death.
2.
a visible spirit.
Origin of wraith
1505-1515
1505-15; originally Scots; origin uncertain
Related forms
wraithlike, adjective
Can be confused
wraith, wreath, wreathe, writhe.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for wraithlike
Historical Examples
  • The young moon shed only a wan and wraithlike radiance over the plain.

  • He is a wraithlike double of Olivier, already able to reckon up all values.

    Romain Rolland Stefan Zweig
  • He called down maledictions on those two strange, impassive, wraithlike forms hardly more than half seen in the darkness and fog.

    Darkness and Dawn George Allan England
  • His body was so frail, so wraithlike, that one almost expected to see through it the magnificent tapestries on the walls.

    The Story of a Pioneer Anna Howard Shaw
  • Her dress flickered and flashed through the trees beside the track; it was a wraithlike streak in the twilight.

    The Black Opal Katharine Susannah Prichard
  • But it did not quite vanish; it held its wraithlike outlines, and in a moment began sliding silently backward.

    The White Invaders Raymond King Cummings
  • But it is a wraithlike thing, and undulates and falls before our eyes like flames that have neither redness nor heat.

    Musical Portraits Paul Rosenfeld
  • He moved quickly in that direction, saw now a wraithlike figure in white.

  • Another second passed; it was visibly growing tenuous, wraithlike!

    The White Invaders Raymond King Cummings
  • Here were associations almost living, they were so vivid, yet wraithlike in sheer removedness.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
British Dictionary definitions for wraithlike

wraith

/reɪθ/
noun
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
Derived Forms
wraithlike, adjective
Word Origin
C16: Scottish, of unknown origin
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 wraithlike

wraith

n.

1510s, "ghost," Scottish, of uncertain origin. Weekley suggests Old Norse vorðr "guardian" in the sense of "guardian angel." Klein points to Gaelic and Irish arrach "specter, apparition."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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