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late 14c., chaundeler "candlestick, chandelier," from Old French chandelier (n.1), 12c., earlier chandelabre "candlestick, candelabrum" (10c.), from Latin candelabrum, from candela "candle" (see candle). Re-spelled mid-18c. in French fashion; during 17c. the French spelling referred to a military device.
a branched candleholder-or, in modern times, electric-light holder-suspended from the ceiling. Hanging candleholders made of wood or iron and simply shaped were used in Anglo-Saxon churches before the Norman Conquest (1066). In the 12th and 13th centuries huge openwork hoops of iron or bronze supported numerous prickets (spikes) for candles.