1. An apparition of a person in his exact likeness, seen before death, or a little after; hence, an apparition; a specter; a vision; an unreal image. "She was uncertain if it were the gypsy or her wraith." (Sir W. Scott) "O, hollow wraith of dying fame." (Tennyson)

2. Sometimes, improperly, a spirit thought to preside over the waters; called also water wraith.

Origin: Scot. Wraith, warth; probably originally, a guardian angel, from Icel. Voror a warden, guardian, akin to E. Ward. See Ward a guard.

(01 Mar 1998)

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