sconce

1 [skons]
noun
1.
a bracket for candles or other lights, placed on a wall, mirror, picture frame, etc.
2.
the hole or socket of a candlestick, for holding the candle.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English sconce, sconse (< Old French esconce) < Medieval Latin scōnsa, aphetic variant of abscōnsa, noun use of feminine past participle of abscondere to conceal; see abscond

Dictionary.com Unabridged

sconce

2 [skons]
noun
1.
Fortification. a small detached fort or defense work, as to defend a pass, bridge, etc.
2.
a protective screen or shelter.
verb (used with object), sconced, sconcing.
3.
Fortification. to protect with a sconce.
4.
Obsolete. to protect; shelter.

Origin:
1565–75; < Dutch schans < German Schanze, orig. bundle of wood; compare ensconse

sconce

3 [skons]
verb (used with object), sconced, sconcing.
1.
(at English universities, especially formerly) to fine (an undergraduate) for a breach of rules or etiquette.
noun
2.
a fine so imposed.

Origin:
1610–20; origin uncertain

sconce

4 [skons]
noun
1.
the head or skull.
2.
sense or wit.

Origin:
1560–70; origin uncertain

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To sconce
Collins
World English Dictionary
sconce1 (skɒns)
 
n
1.  a bracket fixed to a wall for holding candles or lights
2.  a flat candlestick with a handle
 
[C14: from Old French esconse hiding place, lantern, or from Late Latin sconsa, from absconsa dark lantern]

sconce2 (skɒns)
 
n
a small protective fortification, such as an earthwork
 
[C16: from Dutch schans, from Middle High German schanze bundle of brushwood]

sconce3 (skɒns)
 
vb
1.  to challenge (a fellow student) on the grounds of a social misdemeanour to drink a large quantity of beer without stopping
2.  obsolete to fine (a student) for some minor misdemeanour
 
n
3.  the act of sconcing
4.  a mug or tankard used in sconcing
 
[C17: of obscure origin]

sconce4 (skɒns)
 
n
1.  the head or skull
2.  sense, brain, or wit
 
[C16: probably jocular use of sconce1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sconce
late 14c., "candlestick with a screen," aphetic of O.Fr. esconse "lantern, hiding place," from M.L. sconsa, from L. absconsa, fem. pp. of abscondere "to hide." Meaning "metal bracket-candlestick fastened to a wall" is recorded from mid-15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

sconce

wooden or metal bracket affixed to a wall and designed to hold candles, lamps, or other types of illumination. One of the earliest forms of lighting fixtures for domestic and public use, sconces first appeared in Classical antiquity, but more elaborate variants were stimulated by the custom that arose in the European Middle Ages of affixing metal sconces holding candles to the walls of churches when they were consecrated. Various elaborations and refinements were added in the 17th century, including mirrors or metal reflectors to intensify the light.

Learn more about sconce with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Each plaster sconce on the lower level of the house, for example, is hand-painted with an original design.
The ceiling is drywall construction with wall sconce, dropped fixture, and recessed lighting.
Provide and install new wall sconce lighting fixtures.
Related Words
Image for sconce
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;