[ jak-uh-lan-tern ]
See synonyms for jack-o'-lantern on Thesaurus.com
  1. a hollowed pumpkin with openings cut to represent human eyes, nose, and mouth and in which a candle or other light may be placed, traditionally made for display at Halloween.

  2. a commercially made lantern resembling this.

  1. any phenomenon of light, as a corona discharge or an ignis fatuus.

  2. a poisonous luminescent orange fungus, Omphalotus olearius, often found in clusters at the base of hardwood tree stumps.

Origin of jack-o'-lantern

First recorded in 1655–65

Words Nearby jack-o'-lantern

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use jack-o'-lantern in a sentence

  • Hurrah for the Jack-o-lantern witch, some one said, and the crowd shouted their happiness and relief.

    Boys and Girls of Colonial Days | Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
  • In her window there still stood the grinning Jack-o-lantern, and at sight of it bursts of laughter took away all thought of tears.

    Boys and Girls of Colonial Days | Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
  • It had the appearance of a grinning monster, the boy laughed at his memory of the Jack-o-Lantern.

    Boys and Girls of Colonial Days | Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
  • A lighted jack-o-lantern came from between the folds of a curtain which hung from the ceiling.

    Maida's Little Shop | Inez Haynes Irwin
  • At each corner of the table a jack-o-lantern and towards the center, baskets made of pumpkins full of red, green and yellow fruit.

    Dinners and Luncheons | Paul Pierce

British Dictionary definitions for jack-o'-lantern


  1. a lantern made from a hollowed pumpkin, which has holes cut in it to represent a human face

  2. a will-o'-the-wisp or similar phenomenon

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