candle

[kan-dl]

noun

a long, usually slender piece of tallow or wax with an embedded wick that is burned to give light.
something resembling a candle in appearance or use.
Optics.
  1. (formerly) candela.
  2. Also called international candle.a unit of luminous intensity, defined as a fraction of the luminous intensity of a group of 45 carbon-filament lamps: used from 1909 to 1948 as the international standard.
  3. a unit of luminous intensity, equal to the luminous intensity of a wax candle of standard specifications: used prior to 1909 as the international standard. Abbreviation: c., c

verb (used with object), can·dled, can·dling.

to examine (eggs) for freshness, fertility, etc., by holding them up to a bright light.
to hold (a bottle of wine) in front of a lighted candle while decanting so as to detect sediment and prevent its being poured off with the wine.

Idioms

    burn the/one's candle at both ends. burn1(def 54).
    hold a candle to, to compare favorably with (usually used in the negative): She's smart, but she can't hold a candle to her sister.
    worth the candle, worth the trouble or effort involved (usually used in the negative): Trying to win them over to your viewpoint is not worth the candle.

Origin of candle

before 900; Middle English, Old English candel < Latin candēla, equivalent to cand(ēre) to shine + -ēla deverbal noun suffix; see candid
Related formscan·dler, nounun·can·dled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for candle

Contemporary Examples of candle

Historical Examples of candle

  • When Tippy, in her bathrobe and with a candle, came down the dark hall to fumble at the door and let me in, I didn't say a word.

    Georgina's Service Stars

    Annie Fellows Johnston

  • It was excusable, for the candle threw weird shadows around, which flitted about like phantoms playing at hide-and-seek.

    The Argosy

    Various

  • It was like the flame of a candle twisted and leaping in a breeze.

  • She leaned over the lattice-work, snatched the candle, and ran in with it.

    Christ Legends

    Selma Lagerlf

  • The candle was burning brightly and so was the fire, and he thought he was "getten on brave."

    The Wizard of West Penwith

    William Bentinck Forfar



British Dictionary definitions for candle

candle

noun

a cylindrical piece of wax, tallow, or other fatty substance surrounding a wick, which is burned to produce light
physics
  1. See international candle
  2. another name for candela
burn the candle at both ends to exhaust oneself, esp by being up late and getting up early to work
not hold a candle to informal to be inferior or contemptible in comparison withyour dog doesn't hold a candle to mine
not worth the candle informal not worth the price or trouble entailed (esp in the phrase the game's not worth the candle)

verb

(tr) to examine (eggs) for freshness or the likelihood of being hatched by viewing them against a bright light
Derived Formscandler, noun

Word Origin for candle

Old English candel, from Latin candēla, from candēre to be white, glitter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for candle
n.

Old English candel "lamp, lantern, candle," an early ecclesiastical borrowing from Latin candela "a light, torch, candle made of tallow or wax," from candere "to shine," from PIE root *kand- "to glow, to shine, to shoot out light" (cf. Sanskrit cand- "to give light, shine," candra- "shining, glowing, moon;" Greek kandaros "coal;" Welsh cann "white;" Middle Irish condud "fuel").

Candles were unknown in ancient Greece (where oil lamps sufficed), but common from early times among Romans and Etruscans. Candles on birthday cakes seems to have been originally a German custom. To hold a candle to originally meant "to help in a subordinate capacity," from the notion of an assistant or apprentice holding a candle for light while the master works. To burn the candle at both ends is recorded from 1730.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for candle

candle

[kăndl]

n.

candela
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with candle

candle

see burn the candle at both ends; game is not worth the candle; hold a candle to.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.