lan·​tern ˈlan-tərn How to pronounce lantern (audio)
often attributive
: a usually portable protective case for a light with transparent openings compare chinese lantern
obsolete : lighthouse
: the chamber in a lighthouse containing the light
: a structure with glazed or open sides above an opening in a roof for light or ventilation
: a small tower or cupola or one stage of a cupola

Examples of lantern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Thoughtful details include flowy lantern sleeves, cuffed shorts, and a lightweight, breathable rayon material. Laura Lu, Parents, 3 June 2024 Shopping Gardening Reviews Outdoor Product Reviews Our recommendations include lanterns, string lights, and solar lights. Nor'adila Hepburn, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 June 2024 In the fantastical area, multiple characters are gathered on a deck and around the town which is decorated in pink and purple hanging lanterns and bright fairy lights. Raven Brunner, Peoplemag, 30 May 2024 Come out for a family-friendly day of music, food and fun, complete with the opportunity to design and launch your very own water lantern. Brittany Delay, The Mercury News, 17 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for lantern 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lantern.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English lanterne, from Anglo-French, from Latin lanterna, from Greek lamptēr, from lampein to shine — more at lamp

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lantern was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near lantern

Cite this Entry

“Lantern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


lan·​tern ˈlant-ərn How to pronounce lantern (audio)
: a usually portable light with a protective covering
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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