- Obsolete a living being; creature
- Archaic a human being; person: now sometimes used in a patronizing or commiserating sense
Origin of wightMiddle English wiht ; from Old English akin to German wicht, creature, Gothic waihts, thing ; from Indo-European base an unverified form wekti-, thing from source Old Church Slavonic veštǐ, thing
Origin of wightMiddle English wihte ; from Old Norse vigt, neuter of vigr, skilled in arms, akin to Old English wigan, to fight: for Indo-European base see victor
Origin of wightMiddle English, from Old English wiht; see wekti- in Indo-European roots.
Origin of wightMiddle English, from Old Norse vīgt, neuter of vīgr, able to fight; see weik-3 in Indo-European roots.
From Middle English, 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 Proto-Indo-European *wekʷ- (“to say, tell”). Cognate with Old High German wiht (“creature, thing”) , Dutch wicht, German Wicht, Swedish vätte. See also whit.
The meaning of the wraith-like creature is from barrow-wights in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth world.