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Pronunciation:  'ignis 'fachoous

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  an illusion that misleads
  2. [n]  a pale light sometimes seen at night over marshy ground
 Synonyms: friar's lantern, jack-o'-lantern, will-o'-the-wisp, will-o'-the-wisp
 See Also: fancy, fantasy, illusion, light, phantasy, visible light, visible radiation



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
\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}.

2. Fig.: A misleading influence; a decoy.

         Scared and guided by the ignis fatuus of popular
         superstition.                         --Jer. Taylor.

Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: airy nothing, autism, autoluminescence, backfire, balefire, beacon, beacon fire, bioluminescence, blaze, bonfire, bubble, burning ghat, campfire, cathode luminescence, cheerful fire, chemicoluminescence, chemiluminescence, chimera, combustion, conflagration, corposant, cozy fire, crackling fire, crematory, crystalloluminescence, daydream, death fire, deception, deluded belief, delusion, dereism, double corposant, dream, dream vision, dreamland, dreamworld, electroluminescence, false belief, fata morgana, fen fire, fire, flame, flashing point, flicker, flickering flame, fluorescence, forest fire, fox fire, funeral pyre, hallucination, ignition, illusion, ingle, lambent flame, luciferase, luciferin, luminescence, luminophor, marshfire, mirage, misbelief, misconception, noctiluscence, open fire, phantasm, phosphor, phosphorescence, photoluminescence, pipe dream, prairie fire, pyre, radioluminescence, raging fire, sea of flames, self-deceit, self-deception, self-delusion, sheet of fire, signal beacon, smudge fire, thermoluminescence, three-alarm fire, tribofluorescence, triboluminescence, tribophosphorescence, trick, trip, two-alarm fire, vapor, watch fire, wildfire, wisp, witch fire, wrong impression