noun, often attributive
lan·​tern | \ ˈlan-tərn How to pronounce lantern (audio) \

Definition of lantern

1 : a usually portable protective case for a light with transparent openings — compare chinese lantern
2a obsolete : lighthouse
b : the chamber in a lighthouse containing the light
c : a structure with glazed or open sides above an opening in a roof for light or ventilation
d : a small tower or cupola or one stage of a cupola

Examples of lantern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Variant drops their lantern, igniting the oil underfoot and burning three of the Minutemen. Alex Kane, USA TODAY, 9 June 2021 Bringing a simple, reliable, solar lantern like this one from Luminaid ($25) is another great way to hedge your bets against washing dishes in the dark. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, 6 June 2021 More Icons Also included in the exhibition is a small statue of a slave boy bearing a lantern, who appears to have fallen asleep on his feet while waiting for his master to show up. Tobias Grey, WSJ, 14 May 2021 The Watch Hill Lighthouse Tower, built in 1855, is a three-story, square rockface granite block tower, topped with a cast iron and glass lantern., 13 May 2021 John Palacios and Jami Mims installed solar panels on their roof and a retro lantern in their living room. Taylor Kate Brown, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 May 2021 Stone walks, a whimsical garden lantern and other accents bring joy., 14 May 2021 In fact, the lantern even comes with a reusable cap that will protect your flame from spontaneous rain or debris. Kelsey Mulvey, Southern Living, 12 May 2021 The lovers haunt the pond even now, Bear said solemnly, then stood with the lantern and left the children to put out the fire and camp in the boathouse alone. Lauren Groff, The New Yorker, 27 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lantern.' 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 lantern

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lantern

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About lantern

Time Traveler for lantern

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for lantern

Last Updated

21 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lantern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lantern



English Language Learners Definition of lantern

: a light that has usually a glass covering and that can be carried by a handle


lan·​tern | \ ˈlan-tərn How to pronounce lantern (audio) \

Kids Definition of lantern

: a usually portable lamp with a protective covering


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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