gir·​an·​dole | \ ˈjir-ən-ˌdōl How to pronounce girandole (audio) \

Definition of girandole

1 : a radiating and showy composition (such as a cluster of skyrockets fired together)
2 : an ornamental branched candlestick
3 : a pendant earring usually with three ornaments hanging from a central piece

Illustration of girandole

Illustration of girandole

girandole 2

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Did You Know?

The earliest uses of girandole in English, in the 17th century, referred to a kind of firework or to something, such as a fountain, with a radiating pattern like that of a firework. Such a pattern is reflected in the word’s etymology: girandole can be traced back, by way of French and Italian, to the Latin word gyrus, meaning "gyre" or "a circular or spiral motion or form." By the 18th century girandole was being used for a branched candlestick, perhaps due to its resemblance to the firework. The word’s third sense, referring to a kind of earring, did not appear in English until the 19th century.

Examples of girandole in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The magnificent hall hints at extravagance within: The walls are lined in pleated pistachio silk; bunches of fruit-and-flowers plasterwork tumble from the ceiling; glimmering crystal girandoles stand sentry beside the fireplace. Pascal Chevallier, Vogue, "The Reinvention of Annabel’s, London’s Legendary Nightclub," 19 Mar. 2018 Mr. Due toured Europe and collected English secretaries, French demi-lunes and crystal girandoles to sell from his antiques store outside Frederick. Tim Prudente,, "John Due, antiques collector and dealer, dies," 4 June 2017

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

First Known Use of girandole

1749, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for girandole

French & Italian; French, from Italian girandola, from girare to turn, from Late Latin gyrare, from Latin gyrus gyre

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The first known use of girandole was in 1749

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Cite this Entry

“Girandole.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on girandole

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for girandole

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with girandole Encyclopedia article about girandole

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