candle

noun
can·​dle | \ ˈkan-dᵊl How to pronounce candle (audio) \
plural candles

Definition of candle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a usually molded or dipped mass of wax or tallow containing a wick that may be burned (as to give light, heat, or scent or for celebration or votive purposes)
2 : something resembling a candle in shape or use a sulfur candle for fumigating
3 : required effort, expense, or trouble usually used in the phrase not worth the candle
4 : candela
5 : a thin, upright new shoot forming from a terminal bud on a pine tree in the spring Pines grow from the branch tips, which elongate into "candles" in spring, then fatten into mature, needle-covered branches. To minimize pine growth, just pinch off the ends of the candles.— Jim McCausland et al.

candle

verb
candled; candling\ ˈkan(d)-​liŋ How to pronounce candling (audio) , ˈkan-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of candle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to examine by holding between the eye and a light especially : to test (eggs) in this way for staleness, blood clots, fertility, and growth

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from candle

Verb

candler \ ˈkan(d)-​lər How to pronounce candler (audio) , ˈkan-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Examples of candle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 2004, sisters Brianna Quintero, 3, and Janet Quintero, 5, died when a candle started a fire in their mobile home at Holiday Village. Washington Post, "Fire can be risky, deadly drawback of living in mobile homes," 16 Sep. 2019 Keep a close watch on burning candles and have at least one fire extinguisher. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Supporting local fire and emergency services to make San Diego safer," 14 Sep. 2019 Politicos of all stripes are styled as saints and stamped onto novelty devotional prayer candles. Amanda Hess, New York Times, "United We Stan," 11 Sep. 2019 More than a hundred candles were lit, according to the Tribune. Fox News, "Virgin Mary painting shows 'tears' at Chicago church facing foreclosure: reports," 10 Sep. 2019 Joe Biden’s burns as brightly as a birthday candle. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "What Makes Joe Run?," 6 Sep. 2019 The tradition of adding candles to the tree branches is most commonly attributed to Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation movement in the 1500s. Country Living, "The History of the Christmas Tree Goes Back Farther Than You Might Realize," 4 Sep. 2019 Mine brings to mind salt spray on the New Jersey Shore and birthday candles on ice cream cake. Maura Friedman, National Geographic, "See the best pictures of summer from Nat Geo photographers," 28 Aug. 2019 Later in the month the Children’s Corner activities include making a pine cone bird feeder on Sept. 14, storytelling with puppets on Sept. 21 and painting candles on Sept. 28. courant.com, "Quick Dip: Shake, rattle and roll around town," 24 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

All of your prayers and well wishes and candles got me through today. Ashley Iasimone, Billboard, "P!nk Tweets About Super Bowl 2018 Performance: 'Thank You for the Love'," 4 Feb. 2018 Going through thousands of profiles is like candling eggs — so many inspections to make: Age, race, religion, height and weight appropriate? Stu Bykofsky, Philly.com, "'Matchmaker, matchmaker': My online dating life," 10 Aug. 2017 Her father hired me during the Easter rush to work with Sharlene gathering, cleaning and candling eggs. Janet Sheridan, The Denver Post, "A lifetime of chickens as pets, food and summer jobs," 12 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'candle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of candle

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1879, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for candle

Noun

Middle English candel, from Old English, from Latin candela, from candēre

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about candle

Statistics for candle

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for candle

The first known use of candle was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for candle

candle

noun

English Language Learners Definition of candle

: wax that has been formed into a stick or another shape and has a string in the middle that can be burned

candle

noun
can·​dle | \ ˈkan-dᵊl How to pronounce candle (audio) \

Kids Definition of candle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a stick of tallow or wax containing a wick and burned to give light

candle

verb
candled; candling

Kids Definition of candle (Entry 2 of 2)

: to examine (an egg) by holding between the eye and a light

Other Words from candle

candler noun

candle

noun
can·​dle | \ ˈkan-dᵊl How to pronounce candle (audio) \

Medical Definition of candle

1 : a medicated candle or lozenge used for fumigation
2 : candela

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on candle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with candle

Spanish Central: Translation of candle

Nglish: Translation of candle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of candle for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about candle

Comments on candle

What made you want to look up candle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!