noun (1)
\ ˈskän(t)s How to pronounce sconce (audio) \

Definition of sconce

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


noun (2)

Definition of sconce (Entry 2 of 2)

: a detached defensive work

First Known Use of sconce

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1571, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sconce

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

Learn More About sconce

Time Traveler for sconce

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near sconce




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sconce

Cite this Entry

“Sconce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on sconce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sconce

Nglish: Translation of sconce for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sconce


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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