• WordNet 3.6
    • n wisp a small tuft or lock "wisps of hair"
    • n wisp a flock of snipe
    • n wisp a small bundle of straw or hay
    • n wisp a small person "a mere wisp of a girl"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Wisp A small bundle, as of straw or other like substance. "In a small basket, on a wisp of hay."
    • Wisp A whisk, or small broom.
    • Wisp A Will-o'-the-wisp; an ignis fatuus. "The wisp that flickers where no foot can tread."
    • Wisp To brush or dress, an with a wisp.
    • Wisp To rumple.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n wisp A handful or small bundle, as of straw or hay; a twisted handful.
    • n wisp A whisk, or small broom.
    • n wisp An ignis fatuus, or will-o'-the-wisp.
    • n wisp A disease in cattle, consisting in inflammation and suppuration of the interdigital tissues, most commonly of the hind feet. It may be due to the irritation of dirt, to overgrowth of the hoof, or other causes. Also called foul in the foot. Also whisp.
    • n wisp In falconry, a flight or walk of snipe. =Syn.5. Covey, etc. See flock.
    • wisp To brush, dress, or rub down with or as with a wisp.
    • wisp To rumple.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Wisp wisp a small bundle of straw or hay: a small broom: will-o'-the-wisp: a disease affecting the feet of cattle
    • v.t Wisp to rub down with a wisp
    • ***


Will-o'-the-wisp - Something that deceives by its appearance is a will-o’-the-wisp; it looks good, but turns out to be a disappointment.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. wisp, wips,; probably akin to D. & G. wisch, Icel. visk, and perhaps to L. virga, a twig, rod. Cf. Verge a rod, Whisk (n.)


In literature:

They, too, would receive a wisp of sweet hay willingly from the hand.
"Hodge and His Masters" by Richard Jefferies
Swift-flying wisps of cloud turned pink, and low along the western horizon of the forest the light seemed golden and blue.
"Tales of lonely trails" by Zane Grey
The Will-o-the-Wisp and her Story.
"Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade Archipelago, Etc. To Which Is Added The Account Of Mr. E.B. Kennedy's Expedition For The Exploration Of The Cape York Peninsula. By John Macgillivray, F.R.G.S. Naturalist To The Expedition. In Two Volumes. Volume 1." by John MacGillivray
She would bless and thank you, and for me, to be a Will-of-the-wisp, or what not, would be far better than the life I lead.
"A Reputed Changeling" by Charlotte M. Yonge
The little man in scarlet was the will-o'-the-wisp of a dream.
"The Man Who Laughs" by Victor Hugo
A part of speech outside of the limitations of syntactic form is but a will o' the wisp.
"Language" by Edward Sapir
The little handkerchiefs were still courageously waving, and she, too, waved a little wisp.
"The Pretty Lady" by Arnold E. Bennett
They also used to carry a burning wisp of straw at a spear head, and to raise a cry, similar to the Indian war-whoop.
"Minstrelsy of the Scottish border (3rd ed) (1 of 3)" by Walter Scott
They opened the door, all of them curious to look upon the Will-o'-the-wisp.
"Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories" by Edited by Julian Hawthorne
I gave for you a wisp of hay, And did not take your nest away.
"Voices for the Speechless"

In poetry:

O endless sunsteeped plain,
With forests in dim blue shrouds,
And little wisps of rain,
Falling from far-off clouds:
"Refuge" by Archibald Lampman
Swift as horse upon my feet,
Fierce as lion in my heat,
Rending, like a wisp of hay,
All that dared withstand my way,
"Samson" by Frederick George Scott
"Three times around it pass,
With never a sound;
Each time a wisp of grass
And myrtle pluck, and pass
Out of the ghostly ground;
"The Eve Of All-Saints" by Madison Julius Cawein
She begs me now for that chief joy
    The round great world is made to grow—
Her wisp of greenness. Hear her chide
    Because my answering thought is slow!
"A Caged Bird" by Sarah Orne Jewett
Blind fools of fate and slaves of circumstance,
Life is a fiddler, and we all must dance.
From gloom where mocks that will-o'-wisp, Free-will
I heard a voice cry: "Say, give us a chance."
"Quatrains" by Robert W Service
You must have met the fairies in some shadow-thridden glen,
Who shook their Fluttering Wisp at you, again and yet again,
And sowed the seed of wandering that keeps me sobbing sore–
Handsome Brian O'Gallagher; shall I ever see you more?
"Handsome Brian O'Gallagher" by Anna Johnston MacManus

In news:

Another decade, another location for longtime Jazz club The Blue Wisp .
Skier at Wisp Resort in Western Maryland ( Submitted Photo ).
Western Maryland famous Wisp Resort in.
Wisp Resort is located in.
Blue Wisp Young Lions Band.
Wisp away foul breath.
Although WISPs are surviving now, there's doubt about what the future holds for them.
Moldashel of Lakeland Communications also sees WiMAX as critical to future connections, but not necessarily to the advantage of WISPs .
ISPs aren't the only game in town—especially in small towns WISPs , or wireless Internet service providers, would like a chance to connect you as well.
Fred Hersch Returns to the Wisp .
She's a charming wisp of a thing who nevertheless drinks like a sailor with hollow legs.
Saturn's frigid moon holds wisps of oxygen, scientists say.
A luxury log home at the Wisp Resort in McHenry, Md.
Venus and a wisp of moon to put on early morning sky show.
Sale of Wisp, new lodge at Nemacolin are among highlights at local resorts.

In science:

The advent of the magnetohydrodynamic model has focused attention on the wisps’ structure and variability as a probe of the physics of the region where the pulsar’s outflow interacts with the nebular plasma.
Time-dependence in Relativistic Collisionless Shocks: Theory of the Variable "Wisps" in the Crab Nebula
Chedia et al. (1997) suggest that a drift instability of a subsonically expanding plasma (no shock wave) can explain the wisp structure – how the outflow from the pulsar escapes catastrophic adiabatic losses is not addressed, however.
Time-dependence in Relativistic Collisionless Shocks: Theory of the Variable "Wisps" in the Crab Nebula
However, the wisps are known to be highly variable, on a time-scale of weeks to months.
Time-dependence in Relativistic Collisionless Shocks: Theory of the Variable "Wisps" in the Crab Nebula
In this paper we present a model for time-variability of the wisp region in the Crab by extending the work of GA to include the time dependence in the flow.
Time-dependence in Relativistic Collisionless Shocks: Theory of the Variable "Wisps" in the Crab Nebula
We find that this instability introduces a time dependence in to the shock in the pair-ion plasma that causes the variable surface brightness to have substantial similarity to the observed variability of the wisps.
Time-dependence in Relativistic Collisionless Shocks: Theory of the Variable "Wisps" in the Crab Nebula