Can"dle (?), n. [OE. candel,
candel, AS, candel, fr. L. candela a (white)
light made of wax or tallow, fr. candëre to be white.
See Candid, and cf. Chandler, Cannel,
Kindle.] 1. A slender, cylindrical
body of tallow, containing a wick composed of loosely twisted
linen of cotton threads, and used to furnish light.
How far that little candle throws his
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
☞ Candles are usually made by repeatedly dipping the
wicks in the melted tallow, etc. ("dipped candles"), or by
casting or running in a mold.
2. That which gives light; a
By these blessed candles of the night.
Candle nut, the fruit of a
euphorbiaceous shrub (Aleurites triloba), a native of some
of the Pacific islands; -- socalled because, when dry, it will
burn with a bright flame, and is used by the natives as a candle.
The oil has many uses. -- Candle power
(Photom.), illuminating power, as of a lamp, or gas
flame, reckoned in terms of the light of a standard candle.
-- Electric candle, A modification of the
electric arc lamp, in which the carbon rods, instead of being
placed end to end, are arranged side by side, and at a distance
suitable for the formation of the arc at the tip; -- called also,
from the name of the inventor, Jablockoff candle. --
Excommunication by inch of candle, a form
of excommunication in which the offender is allowed time to
repent only while a candle burns. -- Not worth the
candle, not worth the cost or trouble. --
Rush candle, a candle made of the pith of
certain rushes, peeled except on one side, and dipped in
grease. -- Sale by inch of candle, an
auction in which persons are allowed to bid only till a small
piece of candle burns out. -- Standard
candle (Photom.), a special form of candle
employed as a standard in photometric measurements; usually, a
candle of spermaceti so constructed as to burn at the rate of 120
grains, or 7.8 grams, per hour. -- To curse by bell,
book and candle. See under Bell.