1 of 2

noun (1)

: a bracket candlestick or group of candlesticks
also : an electric light fixture patterned on a candle sconce
: head, skull


2 of 2

noun (2)

: a detached defensive work

Examples of sconce in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Lighting-wise, luxury wall sconces, sleek ceiling fans, and unique table lamps are among the wide selection of lighting options available. Blake Bakkila, Architectural Digest, 8 July 2024 Tables, pendants and sconces came from online sellers including 1stDibs, Chairish and Etsy, and sometimes were shipped from overseas. Stacy Suaya, Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2024 Overstuffed armchairs sat atop oriental rugs, and the bulbous sconce lighting along the wall evoked the Victorian without going full set piece. Lizz Schumer, Peoplemag, 12 June 2024 The light accentuates the room’s decor, which includes sconces from Jennings’ grandparents’ home in Shelbyville, a dresser from his aunt and uncle — with real turkey feathers hanging from above — and unique bedding from India. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, 20 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for sconce 

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French sconce, *esconse screened candle or lantern, from escunser to hide, obscure, from Old French escons, past participle of escondre to hide, from Vulgar Latin *excondere, alteration of Latin abscondere — more at abscond

Noun (2)

Dutch schans, from German Schanze

First Known Use

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1571, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sconce was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near sconce

Cite this Entry

“Sconce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a lamp or candlestick or group of candlesticks fastened to a wall

More from Merriam-Webster on sconce

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