[lan-tern] /ˈlæn tərn/

a transparent or translucent, usually portable, case for enclosing a light and protecting it from the wind, rain, etc.
the chamber at the top of a lighthouse, surrounding the light.

a light, usually over the entrance to an elevator on each floor of a multistory building, that signals the approach of the elevator.
a light with a transparent or translucent protective case
a structure on top of a dome or roof having openings or windows to admit light or air
the upper part of a lighthouse that houses the light
(photog) short for magic lantern

mid-13c., from Old French lanterne “lamp, lantern, light” (12c.), from Latin lanterna “lantern, lamp, torch,” altered (by influence of Latin lucerna “lamp”) from Greek lampter “torch,” from lampein “to shine” (see lamp). Variant lanthorn (16c.-19c.) was folk etymology based on the common use of horn as a translucent cover. Lantern-jaws “hollow, long cheeks” is from a resemblance noted since at least mid-14c.


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  • Lantern-clock

    noun 1. an English bracket clock of the late 16th and 17th centuries, having a brass case with corner columns supporting pierced crestings on the sides and front.

  • Lanternfish

    [lan-tern-fish] /ˈlæn tərnˌfɪʃ/ noun, plural (especially collectively) lanternfish (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) lanternfishes. 1. any of several small, deep-sea of the family Myctophidae, having rows of luminous organs along each side, certain species of which migrate to the surface at night.

  • Lanternfly

    [lan-tern-flahy] /ˈlæn tərnˌflaɪ/ noun, plural lanternflies. 1. any of several large tropical insects of the family Fulgoridae, formerly thought to be luminescent.

  • Lantern-gear

    noun 1. a gear mechanism including a lantern wheel.

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