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Word of the Day
Friday, October 31, 2003

Definitions for wraith

  1. An apparition of a living person seen before death; hence, an apparition; a specter; a ghost.
  2. A shadowy or insubstantial form, appearance, or representation of something.

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Citations for wraith
The poet who dreams up this endless series of impersonations comes to seem like a . . . wraith, haunting the ruins of vanished eras. Mark Ford, The Guardian
So now I return to drag myself through another week, a mere wraith, palely loitering, quietly sighing, yearning desperately for something out of life that while it is expected has already passed, together with the youth, with the strength, with the romance of illusions. Michael Dirda, Washington Post
Origin of wraith
Wraith is from Scottish warth, probably originally "a guardian angel, hence a person's ghost seen -- as a warning or means of protection -- immediately before death, hence any apparition," from Old Norse vörthr, "watcher, guardian."