A wisp is a thin bit or thread of something. Even after you put out a campfire, there may be little wisps of smoke in the air above it.

Tiny pieces of hair escaping your ponytail are wisps, and tufts of clouds or fog are also wisps. A more figurative kind of wisp, like a wisp of memory or sadness, is just the barest snippet of emotion. A wisp of a child is a tiny girl or boy, and a wisp of hay is used to dry a horse — this is actually the original, 14th century meaning of wisp, related to the Swedish visp, "bundle of hay."

Primary Meanings of wisp

a small tuft or lock
a flock of snipe
Full Definitions of wisp

n a small tuft or lock

wisps of hair”
Type of:
tuft, tussock
a bunch of hair or feathers or growing grass

n a small person

“a mere wisp of a girl”
Type of:
small person
a person of below average size

n a small bundle of straw or hay

Type of:
bundle, package, packet, parcel
a collection of things wrapped or boxed together

n a flock of snipe

Type of:
a group of birds

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