Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “will-o'-the-wisp”

See all translations

will-o'-the-wisp

noun [C usually singular] uk   /ˌwɪl.ə.ðəˈwɪsp/ us  
something that is impossible to get or achieve: Full employment is the will-o'-the-wisp that politicians have been chasing for decades.
Translations of “will-o'-the-wisp”
in Chinese (Traditional) 虛幻的目標, 實現不了的事…
in Chinese (Simplified) 虚幻的目标, 实现不了的事…
(Definition of will-o'-the-wisp from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of will-o'-the-wisp?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Word of the Day

sail

When a boat or a ship sails, it travels on the water.

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More