Ignis fatuus

Ig"nis fat"u*us

(?);
pl. Ignes fatui (#).
[L. ignis fire + fatuus foolish. So called in allusion to its tendency to mislead travelers.] 1. A phosphorescent light that appears, in the night, over marshy ground, supposed to be occasioned by the decomposition of animal or vegetable substances, or by some inflammable gas; -- popularly called also Will-with-the-wisp, or Will-o'-the-wisp, and Jack-with-a-lantern, or Jack-o'-lantern.
[1913 Webster]

2. Fig.: A misleading influence; a decoy.
[1913 Webster]

Scared and guided by the ignis fatuus of popular superstition.
Jer. Taylor.
[1913 Webster]

 

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Mon 17th December 2018