\ˈlamp \

Definition of lamp 

1a : any of various devices for producing light or sometimes heat: such as

(1) : a vessel with a wick for burning an inflammable liquid (such as oil) to produce light

(2) : a glass bulb or tube that emits light produced by electricity (such as an incandescent light bulb or fluorescent lamp)

b : a decorative appliance housing a lamp that is usually covered by a shade

2 : a celestial body

3 : a source of intellectual or spiritual illumination

4 : eye sense 1a usually used in plural

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Synonyms for lamp


beacon, illuminant, light

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Examples of lamp in a Sentence

I didn't realize it had gotten so dark in the room until my wife came in and turned on the lamp, momentarily blinding me.

Recent Examples on the Web

Evidence of the rebels' attempt to hide under the city includes intact oil lamps and ceramic pots that were found whole in the sewer itself. Yori Yalon, Jewish Journal, "Rare coin minted 1,900 years ago discovered in Jerusalem," 5 July 2018 Out back, adjacent to a large stone grill the boxer built, is his cabin, equipped with the same water pump, oil lamp, and coal stove. Frank Fitzpatrick,, "Muhammad Ali's secluded Pa. camp and the fight to save it, led by John Madden's son," 3 July 2018 The Franciscan light is a replica of a local glass oil lamp which glows at the monastic grave of Saint Francis of Assisi, who inspired environmental ethics. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Boutique receives Proud Business Award," 24 May 2018 Down the street, duck into Rum21, an interior design retailer stocked with nubby Hay pillows, speckled ceramic vases and brass oil lamps. Ingrid K. Williams, New York Times, "36 Hours in Gothenburg, Sweden," 10 May 2018 In the 130-seat, dimly lit dining room, each table is set with white linen tablecloths and brass candleholders with flickering oil lamps., "Free appetizers set the tone for a feast at Angelica’s," 30 Mar. 2018 In 1937, 9,000 District houses were illuminated only by oil lamps, 11,000 families lacked indoor toilets, and 7,000 tenements didn’t have indoor water taps, according to Green’s history. Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, "Fifty years ago some called D.C. ‘the colored man’s paradise.’ Then paradise erupted.," 26 Mar. 2018 Even the familiar tales in this book are gripping—wooden ships in the pincers of an ice floe, flickering oil lamps, thin air. Sara Wheeler, WSJ, "‘Limits of the Known’ Review: What Is Left to Be Conquered," 2 Mar. 2018 Teams drilled a series of holes in an effort to find the men, who were carefully rationing food, water and lamp fuel. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "These dramatic rescues boost hope for boys trapped in water-logged Thailand cave," 4 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of lamp

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for lamp

Middle English, from Anglo-French lampe, from Latin lampas, from Greek, from lampein to shine; akin to Hittite lap- to burn

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Phrases Related to lamp

fog lamp

oil lamp

standard lamp

Statistics for lamp

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for lamp

The first known use of lamp was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for lamp



English Language Learners Definition of lamp

: a device that produces light


\ˈlamp \

Kids Definition of lamp

: a device for producing light a kerosene lamp an electric lamp


\ˈlamp \

Medical Definition of lamp 

: any of various devices for producing light or heat — see kromayer lamp, slit lamp

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Comments on lamp

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


not any or not one

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