|1.||a light with a transparent or translucent protective case|
|2.||a structure on top of a dome or roof having openings or windows to admit light or air|
|3.||the upper part of a lighthouse that houses the light|
|4.||photog short for magic lantern|
|[C13: from Latin lanterna, from Greek lamptēr lamp, from lampein to shine]|
in architecture, originally an openwork timber construction placed on top of a building to admit light and allow smoke to escape. Something of this idea persists in medieval examples such as the lantern above the central octagon of Ely Cathedral (14th century). The term lantern soon came to refer to the open top story of a tower, because such a construction resembled a lamp container and because beacons were occasionally placed there.
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