[ kan-dl-muhs, -mas ]

  1. a church festival, February 2, in honor of the presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple and the purification of the Virgin Mary: candles are blessed on this day.

Origin of Candlemas

before 1050; Middle English candelmasse,Old English candelmæsse.See candle, Mass
  • Also called Candlemas Day .

Words Nearby Candlemas Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Candlemas in a sentence

  • His Flutiness the Duke—the title was granted last Candlemas—has a voice of a rare richness.

    First Plays | A. A. Milne
  • At its best, it has the continent of Antarctica beat four thousand ways from a week ago last Candlemas.

    Unwise Child | Gordon Randall Garrett
  • People in Scotland also prognosticated the weather of the coming season, according to whether Candlemas was clear or foul.

  • He says that ‘about Candlemas we had wrought the wall half through,’ and then goes on to describe how he stood sentinel, &c.

    What Gunpowder Plot Was | Samuel Rawson Gardiner
  • Not common candles she was going to use, but what had been blessed at Candlemas, and that she had kept put by very carefully.

    Candle and Crib | K. F. Purdon

British Dictionary definitions for Candlemas


/ (ˈkændəlməs) /

  1. Christianity Feb 2, the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of Christ in the Temple: the day on which the church candles are blessed. In Scotland it is one of the four quarter days

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