- a bracket for candles or other lights, placed on a wall, mirror, picture frame, etc.
- the hole or socket of a candlestick, for holding the candle.
Origin of sconce1
- Fortification. a small detached fort or defense work, as to defend a pass, bridge, etc.
- a protective screen or shelter.
- Fortification. to protect with a sconce.
- Obsolete. to protect; shelter.
Origin of sconce2
- (at English universities, especially formerly) to fine (an undergraduate) for a breach of rules or etiquette.
- a fine so imposed.
Origin of sconce3
- the head or skull.
- sense or wit.
Origin of sconce4
Examples from the Web for sconce
She cleared the sconce and took down the flitches that hung from the rannel-tree to dry.The Shadow of a Crime
He placed the candle in a sconce on the wall, and then turned to the three.Sue, A Little Heroine
L. T. Meade
A thousand pities that so fine a fellow should have a sconce like a cocoanut!Rookwood
William Harrison Ainsworth
The shutters were closed, and the sconce on the table had two lighted candles.The Burgomaster's Wife, Complete
The candle in the sconce was six paces away from the guards.The Saracen: Land of the Infidel
- a bracket fixed to a wall for holding candles or lights
- a flat candlestick with a handle
- a small protective fortification, such as an earthwork
- to challenge (a fellow student) on the grounds of a social misdemeanour to drink a large quantity of beer without stopping
- obsolete to fine (a student) for some minor misdemeanour
- the act of sconcing
- a mug or tankard used in sconcing
- the head or skull
- sense, brain, or wit
Word Origin and History for sconce
late 14c., "candlestick with a screen," a shortening of Old French esconse "lantern, hiding place," from Medieval Latin sconsa, from Latin absconsa, fem. past participle of abscondere "to hide" (see abscond). Meaning "metal bracket-candlestick fastened to a wall" is recorded from mid-15c.