Wight is a Middle English word, from Old English wiht, and used to describe a creature or living sentient being. It is akin to Old High German wiht, meaning a creature or thing. In its original usage the word wight described a living human being. More recently, the word has been used within the fantasy genre of literature to describe undead or wraith-like creatures: corpses with a part of their decayed soul still in residence, often draining life from their victims. The earliest example of this usage in English is in William Morris's translation of the Grettis Saga, where draug is translated as "barrow wight". Notable later examples include the undead Barrow-wights from the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the reanimated creatures killed by the White Walkers from the works of George R. R. Martin, and the level-draining wights of Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game franchise.
Wight (Dungeons & Dragons)
A wight is a Middle English word for a sentient creature or being, used in modern fantasy works to denote an undead or wraith-like creature.
Wight may also refer to:
- Wight (surname), a family name
- Wight (Dungeons & Dragons), a type of monster in the game Dungeons & Dragons
- Wight Aircraft, the aviation department (1912-1916) of the British shipbuilding firm of J. Samuel White
- Wight Inlet, Nunavut, Canada
- Wight Bank, a small submerged atoll in the Indian Ocean
- Isle of Wight Festival, music festival in the Isle of Wight
Wight is a surname. It is an older English spelling of either Wright (surname) or White (surname).
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Wight \Wight\, a. [OE. wight, wiht, probably of Scand. origin; cf. Icel. v[=i]gr in fighting condition, neut. v[=i]gh ??? v[=i]g war, akin to AS. w[=i]g See Vanquish.] Swift; nimble; agile; strong and active. [Obs. or Poetic]
'T is full wight, God wot, as is a roe.
He was so wimble and so wight.
They were Night and Day, and Day and Night,
Pilgrims wight with steps forthright.
Wight \Wight\, n. [OE. wight, wiht, a wight, a whit, AS. wiht, wuht, a creature, a thing; skin to D. wicht a child, OS. & OHG. wiht a creature, thing, G. wicht a creature, Icel. v[ae]tt? a wight, v[ae]tt? a whit, Goth. wa['i]hts, wa['i]ht, thing; cf. Russ. veshche a thing. ?. Cf. Whit.]
A whit; a bit; a jot. [Obs.]
She was fallen asleep a little wight.
A supernatural being. [Obs.]
A human being; a person, either male or female; -- now used chiefly in irony or burlesque, or in humorous language. ``Worst of all wightes.''
Every wight that hath discretion.
Oh, say me true if thou wert mortal wight.
Wight \Wight\, n. Weight. [Obs.]
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
Old English wiht "living being, creature, person; something, anything," from Proto-Germanic *wihti- (cognates: Old Saxon wiht "thing, demon," Dutch wicht "a little child," Old High German wiht "thing, creature, demon," German Wicht "creature, little child," Old Norse vettr "thing, creature," Swedish vätte "spirit of the earth, gnome," Gothic waihts "something"), from PIE *wekti- "thing, creature" (source also of Old Church Slavonic vešti "a thing"). Not related to the Isle of Wight, which is from Latin Vectis (c.150), originally Celtic, possibly meaning "place of the division."
Etymology 1 n. 1 (context archaic English) A living creature, especially a human being. 2 (context paganism English) A being of one of the Nine Worlds of heathen belief, especially a nature spirit, elf or ancestor. 3 (context poetic English) A ghost or other supernatural entity. 4 (context fantasy English) A wraith-like creature. Etymology 2
a. (''archaic except in dialects'') brave, valorous, strong.
n. a human being; `wight' is an archaic term [syn: creature]
an isle and county of southern England in the English Channel [syn: Isle of Wight]
Usage examples of "wight".
All they knew they learned from aerograms, one from Admiral Durenne off the Isle of Wight saying that the Portsmouth forts had been silenced and the Fleet action had begun, and another from the Commodore of the squadron off Folkestone saying that all was going well, and the landing would shortly be effected: and thus they fully expected to have the three towns and the entrance to the Thames at their mercy by the following day.
This Maximus, that saw this thing betide, With piteous teares told it anon right, That he their soules saw to heaven glide With angels, full of clearness and of light Andt with his word converted many a wight.
See how he yawneth, lo, this drunken wight, As though he would us swallow anon right.
The churchyard at Ashford, and the stone cross, from whence diverged the several roads to London, Canterbury, and Ashford, situated midway between the two latter places, served, so tradition avouched, as nocturnal theatres for the unhallowed deeds of the Wulfrics, who thither prowled by moonlight, it was said, to batten on the freshly-buried dead, or drain the blood of any living wight who might be rash enough to venture among those solitary spots.
Pevensey on the other side of Beachy Head, which was a more important harbour, or possibly even as far as the Isle of Wight.
He assembled them in the River Dives, not far to the east of Caen, and from there it is a hundred miles to Beachy Head and the same to the Isle of Wight.
Well may men know, it was no wight but he That kept the Hebrew people from drowning, With drye feet throughout the sea passing.
Although Jark, Theblaw and Wight thought that Bruce knew less than he did, they must realize, nevertheless, that the missing secretary could eventually cause trouble.
MOD film, of the Ben Lawers manifestation, and with her own eyes the restructuring of the Isle of Wight mansion.
We ride north, after Mance Rayder and these Others, these white shadows and their wights.
Whereupon the miserable father of this unfortunate daughter, suspecting that the gods and powers of heaven did envy her estate, went to the town called Milet to receive the Oracle of Apollo, where he made his prayers and offered sacrifice, and desired a husband for his daughter : but Apollo though he were a Grecian, and of the country of Ionia, because of the foundation of Milet, yet hee gave answer in Latine verse, the sence whereof was this :- Let Psyches corps be clad in mourning weed, And set on rock of yonder hill aloft : Her husband is no wight of humane seed, But Serpent dire and fierce as might be thought.
I believe you are jealous of the broad-shouldered ruffian that some spiteful Wight laid in the nest of the noble Mohar, his father.
But natheless, although he wrote and said, He would that every wight were such as he, All is but counsel to virginity.
Do exactly as I instructed you, unless you would end up as Kiforo, Tedge, and those other luckless wights.
Tahquil tactfully to the urisk, wanting to thank him but bearing in mind that he might be insulted by thanks, as wights apparently were.