Definition of candle in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkandl/ /ˈkændl/

See synonyms for candle

Translate candle into Spanish


  • 1A cylinder or block of wax or tallow with a central wick that is lit to produce light as it burns.

    ‘Light candles and burn oils to create a restful and tranquil environment.’
    • ‘She produces a lighter and the single candle on the table flickers into life alongside the vase of white flowers’
    • ‘Winstanley climbed up to the lantern and lit a dozen tallow candles.’
    • ‘At 8 a.m. the mayor lit the candles and incense and nine monks led the religious ceremonies.’
    • ‘He was waiting, candles burning, flickering on the beautifully set table.’
    • ‘You could burn incense sticks or light a scented candle.’
    • ‘If the candle is put out the light disappears, but if the candle begins to melt and we touch the end of the dying candle to a new candle, then the light continues.’
    • ‘The candles were lit in front of a portrait of Florence Nightingale.’
    • ‘Readings, poems and music chosen by relatives were included in the service, during which candles were lit in memory of those who died.’
    • ‘As I prayed this weekend, I lit the candles in our little shrine and found it focused my prayers beautifully.’
    • ‘The name of every passenger who boarded at Cobh and later died at sea was read out and 79 candles were lit in their honour.’
    • ‘The swimming pool was decorated with fairy lights and floating candles and a table for the intimate party of 12 was set outside.’
    • ‘Posters highlighted the extra dangers the festive season brings - including the use of candles and fairy lights.’
    • ‘They light candles and incense and kneel down to pray before the image.’
    • ‘There was no light, and a huge rainstorm blew in - we just lit a bunch of candles, and it was pretty amazing.’
    • ‘We sometimes light candles when it grows dark, but we don't use them in the bedrooms as we think it is too dangerous.’
    • ‘During power outages exercise caution when using candles as a light source.’
    • ‘I'd light candles in the small, pink room that I slept in to make it more homely.’
    • ‘All the parents were given little red candles to light and then people could leave them there or bring them home.’
    • ‘An inquest heard that the fire started after friends of Mr Wright lit candles in his flat while he had gone out drinking with a friend.’
    • ‘Participants are asked to bring candles, lanterns and torches.’
    taper, sconce
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Physics A unit of luminous intensity, superseded by the candela.
      ‘The intensity of a 60-watt lamp is very nearly 60 candles.’
      • ‘The unit of light intensity in the USA, England and France is the international candle.’
      • ‘The abscissae give the brilliance measured in international candles per square millimetre.’
      • ‘The national laboratories of the United States of America, France, and Great Britain decided to adopt the international candle represented by carbon filament lamps.’
      • ‘Physicists would tell us that the brightness or lightness of a surface is measured in candles and lumens.’

transitive verb

[with object]
  • (of a poultry breeder) test (an egg) for freshness or fertility by holding it to the light.

    ‘the egg was candled—it was fertile’
    • ‘He candled the eggs - checking them against a flame for defects - and took deliveries, but left grammar school with no wish to join the business.’
    • ‘We found nests during incubation, and estimated the hatching date by candling eggs.’
    • ‘Eggs were candled to determine incubation stage, and laying dates were calculated by backdating.’
    • ‘Eggs were candled at 13 days, and unhatched eggs at 20 days of incubation were opened to allow classification of down color.’
    • ‘Eggs were candled to determine stage of incubation and to estimate hatching dates.’
    • ‘At three days, eggs can be candled for fertility.’
    • ‘Eggs to be examined for hatching success were candled by using a portable candler at both the mid-stage and late-stage of parental incubation to determine embryo developmental stage and viability.’
    • ‘To estimate this time period, we visited each bird's burrow early in the breeding season and determined the current incubation stage by egg candling.’
    • ‘To estimate nest age, we candled 1-2 eggs in each nest or aged nestlings from voucher photographs of known-age young.’
    • ‘They bought or traded for eggs, which they candled to determine if they were good.’
    • ‘Stage of incubation was determined by candling and by flotation as calibrated for Canvasback eggs (M. G. Anderson and B. D. Sullivan unpubl. data).’
    • ‘Eggs were collected and replaced with dummy eggs after 4 days of incubation or when candling revealed signs of development.’
    • ‘Eggs were labeled with a permanent marker, candled to estimate the stage of development, weighed to the nearest 0.5 g using a spring scale, and measured (length and width) to the nearest 0.1 mm with calipers.’
    • ‘‘Incubating’ females were collected from nests whose age was known based on candling of eggs.’
    • ‘To illustrate, consider a nest found during the incubation stage and that candling of the eggs revealed they were close to hatching.’
    • ‘Nest initiation dates were estimated by candling incubating nests and assuming an incubation period of 24 to 26 days for hatching nests.’
    • ‘Information recorded for all nests in all years included date found, incubation stage determined by floatation or candling, and status (parasitized or not parasitized).’
    • ‘After 3 days of incubation, embryo development was checked by candling with an ORBAN candling lamp.’


    be unable to hold a candle to
    • Be not nearly as good as.

      • ‘nobody in the final could hold a candle to her’
      • ‘At that time, Ric couldn't hold a candle to what they were doing.’
      • ‘He dropped out of school at 16 because books couldn't hold a candle to golf and began studying visiting professionals.’
      • ‘I'd return the favor but you know I couldn't hold a candle to you.’
      • ‘The surprise 25th birthday party my husband threw for me was unbelievable, but it couldn't hold a candle to this night.’
      • ‘After all, I was writing only small bits of code; nothing I did could hold a candle to what a real program, running on the desktop of someone's computer, could do.’
      • ‘It was felt that the shadow he cast was so great, there couldn't possibly be a composer who could hold a candle to his colossal talent.’
      • ‘Actually, this brand can't hold a candle to serious European dark chocolates, but it's fine in a pinch.’
      • ‘Kiffmeyer obviously can't hold a candle to Harris's achievements.’
      • ‘Maybe it's because he knows most of the groups clogging up the airwaves today can't hold a candle to his songwriting skills.’
      • ‘But for me, they still can't hold a candle to the old Liverpool team of the late 70s and early 80s.’


Old English candel, from Latin candela, from candere ‘be white or glisten’.