candle

[kan-dl]
See more synonyms for candle on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a long, usually slender piece of tallow or wax with an embedded wick that is burned to give light.
  2. something resembling a candle in appearance or use.
  3. 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.
  1. to examine (eggs) for freshness, fertility, etc., by holding them up to a bright light.
  2. 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
  1. burn the/one's candle at both ends. burn1(def 54).
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 2018


Examples from the Web for candling

Historical Examples of candling

  • Examining eggs to determine their quality is called "candling."

    Every Step in Canning

    Grace Viall Gray

  • When he works, the room must be dark except for the covered light used in candling.

    Our Domestic Birds

    John H. Robinson

  • If you are in doubt about the quality of any eggs you are candling break a few of them into a dish and examine them.

    Every Step in Canning

    Grace Viall Gray

  • He was "candling" a phial of ground glass in his fingers as a good wife tries eggs.

    Balsamo, The Magician

    Alexander Dumas

  • This saved the wages of the egg twirlers, whose method of candling eggs, as it was called, was far less rapid than the Separator.

    Mother

    Owen Wister


British Dictionary definitions for candling

candle

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

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

candling in Medicine

candle

[kăndl]
n.
  1. 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 candling

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.