Definition of wraith in English:

wraith

Line breaks: wraith
Pronunciation: /reɪθ
 
/

noun

1A ghost or ghostlike image of someone, especially one seen shortly before or after their death.
More example sentences
  • In keeping with the Batman myth established in the 30's comics, Wayne Senior is killed in a random street robbery, surviving only as a moral wraith tormenting the conscience of his orphaned son.
  • The stage is designer Andy Klunder's evocation of a World War I blue remembered battlefield, peopled by a ghostly lost generation in sad tin hats and mouldy cloth, their women anonymous wraiths in caps and shrouds.
  • I could almost see the wraith of our dear ‘Elder Brother’ hovering over them.
Synonyms
ghost, spectre, spirit, phantom, apparition, manifestation, vision, shadow, presence, poltergeist, supernatural being; Scottish & Irishbodach; West Indianduppy
informal spook
rare eidolon, manes, lemures
1.1Used in reference to a pale, thin, or insubstantial person or thing: heart attacks had reduced his mother to a wraith
More example sentences
  • Her voice was tired, but she was starting to look like her usual self instead of the pale, thin wraith she had been.
  • We who lived in the suburbs of towns that were themselves anonymous and mediocre were exiles from the city's Real: insubstantial wraiths, resigned to our status as non-beings.
  • It's powerful, unsettling stuff, those thin wraiths marching off to war.
1.2 literary A wisp or faint trace of something: a sea breeze was sending a grey wraith of smoke up the slopes
More example sentences
  • But in the end it is fascinating, as Pilate's figure swirls before us, a wraith of smoke whose shape shifts with each new attempt to grasp it.
  • Just a wraith of cloud over Rangitoto at 0615 and then a partial eclipse kicked in.
  • I had never seen the rancher, who lived in the thrown-together compound of unmatched buildings down by the river, only a thin wraith of smoke coiling out of his chimney.

Origin

early 16th century (originally Scots): of unknown origin.

Derivatives

wraithlike

adjective
More example sentences
  • She becomes daily more insubstantial, her figure wraithlike.
  • Bausch and another female dancer move through a café setting with their eyes closed while a man, struggling to anticipate their wraithlike movements, hurriedly moves tables and chairs out of their way.
  • When the lonely bagpipe finally plays a somber song for either entity, its wraithlike warble filling the air with all manner of mixed emotions, it will not be a celebration.

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