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See also: Wight

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EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English wight, wiȝt, from Old English wiht (wight, person, creature, being, whit, thing, something, anything), from Proto-Germanic *wihtiz (essence, object), from Proto-Indo-European *wekti- (cause, sake, thing), from *wekʷ- (to say, tell). Cognate with Scots wicht (creature, being, human), Dutch wicht (child, baby), German Low German Wicht (girl; wight), German Wicht (wretch, wight, little creature, scoundrel), Norwegian Bokmål vette (underground creature, gnome), Swedish vätte (underground creature, gnome), Icelandic vættur (imp, elf). Doublet of whit.

NounEdit

wight (plural wights)

  1. (archaic) A living creature, especially a human being.
    • circa 1602, William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor, act 1, scene 3:
      O base Hungarian wight! wilt thou the spigot wield?
    • 1626, John Milton, On the Death of a Fair Infant Dying of a Cough, verse vi
      Oh say me true if thou wert mortal wight
      And why from us so quickly thou didst take thy flight.
    • 1885, Richard F. Burton, The Supplemental Nights to the Thousand Nights and a Night, Night 532:
      [] Alaeddin ate and drank and was cheered and after he had rested and had recovered spirits he cried, "Ah, O my mother, I have a sore grievance against thee for leaving me to that accursed wight who strave to compass my destruction and designed to take my life. Know that I beheld Death with mine own eyes at the hand of this damned wretch, whom thou didst certify to be my uncle; []
  2. (paganism) A being of one of the Nine Worlds of Heathen belief, especially a nature spirit, elf or ancestor.
  3. (poetic) A ghost, deity or other supernatural entity.
    • 1789, William Blake, A Dream, lines 14-16:
      But I saw a glow-worm near, / Who replied: ‘What wailing wight / Calls the watchman of the night?
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter 2:
      “In judging of that tempestuous wind called Euroclydon,” says an old writer—of whose works I possess the only copy extant—“it maketh a marvellous difference, whether thou lookest out at it from a glass window where the frost is all on the outside, or whether thou observest it from that sashless window, where the frost is on both sides, and of which the wight Death is the only glazier.”
    • 1869, William Morris and Eiríkr Magnússon (translators), Grettis Saga: The Story of Grettir the Strong, F. S. Ellis, page 49:
      Everything in their way was kicked out of place, the barrow-wight setting on with hideous eagerness; Grettir gave back before him for a long time, till at last it came to this, that he saw it would not do to hoard his strength any more; now neither spared the other, and they were brought to where the horse-bones were, and thereabout they wrestled long.
  4. (fantasy) A wraith-like creature.
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English wight, from Old Norse vígt, neuter of vígr (skilled in fighting, of age), from Proto-Germanic *wīgaz (fighting), from Proto-Indo-European *weyk- (to fight). Cognate with Old English wīġ.[1]

AdjectiveEdit

wight

  1. (archaic, except in dialects) Brave, valorous, strong.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter ix, in Le Morte Darthur, book XVIII:
      I haue two sones that were but late made knyghtes / and the eldest hyghte sir Tirre / [] / and my yongest sone hyght Lauayne / and yf hit please yow / he shalle ryde with yow vnto that Iustes / and he is of his age x stronge and wyght
  2. (Britain dialectal, obsolete) Strong; stout; active.
    • a. 1450, “Robin Hood and the Monk”, in Sidgwick, Frank, editor, Ballads of Robin Hood and other Outlaws, published 1912, lines 29–34, page 98:
      Then spake Much the milner son, / Ever more well him betide! / ‘Take twelve of thy wight yeomen, / Well weapon’d by thy side. / Such one would thyselfë slon, / That twelve dare not abide.’
    • a. 1828, “Leesome Brand”, in Buchan, Peter, editor, Ancient Ballads and Songs of the North of Scotland, volume 1, published 1828, lines 21–24, page 39:
      Ye do you to my father's stable, / Where steeds do stand baith wight and able; / Strike ane o' them upo' the back, / The swiftest will gie his head a wap.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Merriam-Webster, 1974.
  • “wight” in the Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, 1974 edition.

Middle EnglishEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Old English wiht, from Proto-Germanic *wihtiz.

Alternative formsEdit

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

wight (plural wightes or wighten)

  1. A creature, a being.
  2. A person, a human being.
  3. A demon, monster
  4. A small amount (of a quantity, length, distance or time); a whit.
DescendantsEdit
ReferencesEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Old Norse vígt.

Alternative formsEdit

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

wight (comparative wighter, superlative wightest)

  1. brave, bold
  2. powerful, strong, vigorous
  3. quick, speedy
DescendantsEdit
  • English: wight (obsolete or dialectal)
ReferencesEdit

AdverbEdit

wight

  1. immediately
  2. vigorously
ReferencesEdit