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

Every man in the procession carried a lighted lantern, and there a number of transparencies and flags. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894," 2 Sep. 2019 The deck’s long steps span the yard and double as impromptu seating illuminated, like the lanterns and translucent Lucite fence, by LED lights on timers. Emily Young, Los Angeles Times, "A tranquil garden getaway amid the hustle and bustle of Westwood," 3 Aug. 2019 Whenever we are taken inside the Temple of Wisdom, a menagerie of mechanical animals strides by, including lightning bugs with propeller hats, who provide lanterns to guide visitors through their admission trials. New York Times, "Review: In ‘The Magic Flute,’ Mozart Meets Nosferatu," 18 July 2019 Wicker baskets, bleached-wood lanterns and natural wood accessories give tablescapes and ottoman vignettes alike the perfect balance. Ap Mcclatchy, The Mercury News, "Play up red, white and blue all summer long," 24 June 2019 Everyone slept in his clothes, all lanterns and portable lights were kept filled and trimmed, ready for immediate use, and provision was made for the instant extinguishment of all fires. Robert E. (robert Edwin) Peary, Harper's magazine, "Unyielding Ice," 10 June 2019 Verdi makes the case for a similarity between a pink version of the iconic paper lantern and the Crazy Rich Asians star's fuchsia Valentino number. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Were These Oscars Looks Inspired By Loofahs, Paper Lanterns, And Other Home Decor?," 25 Feb. 2019 Davis and his team went to great lengths to re-create an authentic historical look, using stucco, flat terra-cotta roof tiles, copper gutters, and gas lanterns. Carolyn Weber, ELLE Decor, "Graceful Lines," 5 July 2012 To continue reading this story, TRY IT NOW Her grandfather died on Valentine’s Day, so on Saturday the couple will float a rice paper lantern, illuminated with a small colored light, onto the San Antonio River in his memory. Richard A. Marini,, "San Antonio River will glow with lanterns honoring loved ones," 21 Aug. 2019

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

11 Sep 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

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