noun, often attributive
lan·tern | \ˈlan-tərn \

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

When extended to full size (4.7 inches tall), the waterproof lantern — with hanging handle — provides low or high brightness plus an SOS flashing option. Necee Regis,, "Here, there, and everywhere," 12 June 2018 The dining room of Intro is filled with cliche red lanterns, hanging bamboo steamers and other Chinese tchotchkes. Michael Nagrant, RedEye Chicago, "Intro Dim Sum is mostly single-note," 12 May 2017 Between the area rug, the succulents, and the Mason jar lanterns, your kitten will be completely set up for indoor glamping (or maybe just a cat nap). Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "This DIY Cardboard Kitty Camper Is Paws-Down the Cutest Thing We've Ever Seen," 8 July 2018 Doyle Garrett said, while taking a break from walking in the courtyard of the Old North Church, where the church sexton and a vestryman hung lanterns to signal to Paul Revere. Thomas Oide,, "Drinking in Boston’s history on the day before the Fourth of July," 3 July 2018 Just like indoors, accessories finish outdoor spaces Add an area rug, pillows, lanterns, potted flowers and trees. Marni Jameson,, "They’re coming! Part 3: Furnishing the great outdoors," 1 June 2018 The backyard has gas lanterns, an exterior powder room, a fire pit, koi pond and citrus gardens. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "Luxury homes: Restaurant/club owners buy $4.4M Paradise Valley mansion," 21 May 2018 There are jetty lights, shiplights, brass lanterns, searchlights, deck lights plus porthole windows, a waterwheel in the yard and plenty of places to sit on the dock of the bay. Janet Eastman,, "Heir of boat-shaped house, long on the market, drops anchor, waits for a buyer (photos)," 30 Apr. 2018 Utilize the structural elements that are already built into the setting, such as tree branches, fences, and lattices, and hang lighting options such as lanterns, twinkly lights, and marquee lights. Sunset, "11 Beautiful Decor Ideas for a Garden-Inspired Wedding," 22 Jan. 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

9 Oct 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of lantern

: a usually portable lamp with a protective covering

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More from Merriam-Webster on lantern

Spanish Central: Translation of lantern

Nglish: Translation of lantern for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lantern for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about lantern

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 reject or criticize sharply

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