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

In it, Madame Gazelle teaches the children in the playgroup about the holiday, including traditions like lanterns, fireworks, and dragon dances. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Watch This 'Peppa Pig' Chinese New Year Sneak Peek With Your Kids Tonight," 11 Jan. 2019 The riverwalk located in the Nakameguro neighborhood was teeming with cherry blossoms and lit pink lanterns to commemorate this awe-inspiring, kaleidoscopic spring celebration. Ed Droste, Vogue, "Stargazing in Tokyo and Glamping Near Mt. Fuji: Ed Droste’s Epic Japan Travel Diary," 28 May 2019 Meanwhile, decor saved from the hotel’s previous life, such as lamps alluding to hexagonal paper lanterns, will adorn the interior. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "Tokyo’s iconic Hotel Okura to reopen in 2019 after renovations," 13 July 2018 At some point, the guide will require participants to turn off their lanterns to experience total darkness, but not after hitting the switch on the falls’ spectacular light show. Colleen Creamer, New York Times, "36 Hours in Chattanooga," 24 May 2018 Then continue down any of the alleys, all lined by sloping Vietnamese-style homes where neighbors gossip under lanterns. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Bangkok: The Black Book," 27 Mar. 2018 Throughout, Scandinavian and Japanese design touches abound, such as Noguchi lanterns and cherrywood furniture in the guest rooms. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "Atelier Ace's New New York City Hotel Wants to Help You Clear Your Head," 14 May 2019 The quirky 140-square-foot structure features a front wall of windows adorned with colorful lanterns and a bed loft with a railing made of tree branches. Maria Carter, Country Living, "Off-The-Grid Weekends Are Easy at This Author's Tiny "Glass House"," 4 Aug. 2015 The lights are turned out and the Seeker opens his or her eyes, rolls a die, and moves a lantern through the forest. Armin Brott And Samantha Feuss, The Seattle Times, "5 new twists on classic board games," 24 Aug. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for lantern

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lantern

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

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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

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Comments on lantern

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


to take the place or position of

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