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candle

[kan-dl] /ˈkæn dl/
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), candled, candling.
4.
to examine (eggs) for freshness, fertility, etc., by holding them up to a bright light.
5.
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
6.
burn the / one's candle at both ends. burn1 (def 54).
7.
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.
8.
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
900
before 900; Middle English, Old English candel < Latin candēla, equivalent to cand(ēre) to shine + -ēla deverbal noun suffix; see candid
Related forms
candler, noun
uncandled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for candle
  • The backbreaking work was done by the light of a single candle.
  • candle butts and an empty bottle rested in an altar niche carved in a boulder.
  • The long winters and deep snows have trimmed the candle spruces into the slenderest of columns.
  • The flicker of a candle, flooding a room with romance.
  • Soon the sun broke free and the pond, rippled by a slight breeze, ignited in countless tiny candle flames.
  • Something made of rice paper with a candle in the middle.
  • But that said it still doesn't hold a candle to what you can get on the continent.
  • She wanted to get inside because she was attracted by a burning candle in the room.
  • Two years before, far away from there, she had fallen asleep without putting out the candle and had awakened surrounded by flames.
  • He blew my second candle out, he said one was enough.
British Dictionary definitions for candle

candle

/ˈkændəl/
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.
(informal) not hold a candle to, to be inferior or contemptible in comparison with: your dog doesn't hold a candle to mine
5.
(informal) not worth the candle, not worth the price or trouble entailed (esp in the phrase the game's not worth the candle)
verb
6.
(transitive) to examine (eggs) for freshness or the likelihood of being hatched by viewing them against a bright light
Derived Forms
candler, noun
Word Origin
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
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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
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candle in Medicine

candle can·dle (kān'dl)
n.
See candela.

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


Part of the Scorpion environment development system.
(1994-11-09)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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candle in the Bible

Heb. ner, Job 18:6; 29:3; Ps. 18:28; Prov. 24:20, in all which places the Revised Version and margin of Authorized Version have "lamp," by which the word is elsewhere frequently rendered. The Hebrew word denotes properly any kind of candle or lamp or torch. It is used as a figure of conscience (Prov. 20:27), of a Christian example (Matt. 5:14, 15), and of prosperity (Job 21:17; Prov. 13:9).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with candle
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for candle

light source now mostly used for decorative and ceremonial purposes, consisting of wax, tallow, or similar slow-burning material, commonly in cylindrical form but made in many fanciful designs, enclosing and saturating a fibrous wick.

Learn more about candle with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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