lantern


lantern
/lan"teuhrn/, n.
1. a transparent or translucent, usually portable, case for enclosing a light and protecting it from the wind, rain, etc.
2. the chamber at the top of a lighthouse, surrounding the light.
4. Archit.
a. a tall, more or less open construction admitting light to an enclosed area below.
b. any light, decorative structure of relatively small size crowning a roof, dome, etc.
c. an open-sided structure on a roof to let out smoke or to assist ventilation.
5. a light, usually over the entrance to an elevator on each floor of a multistory building, that signals the approach of the elevator.
[1250-1300; ME lanterne < L lanterna ( < Etruscan) < Gk lamptér lamp, light]

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      in architecture, originally an openwork timber construction placed on top of a building to admit light and allow smoke to escape. Something of this idea persists in medieval examples such as the lantern above the central octagon of Ely Cathedral (14th century). The term lantern soon came to refer to the open top story of a tower, because such a construction resembled a lamp container and because beacons were occasionally placed there.

 In Renaissance and Baroque architecture, lantern came to mean the small cupola-like structure, usually with decorative arcades, mounted on top of a dome. Although at times its function is to admit light to the interior, it is essentially a proportional element in the visual design. Typical are the lanterns capping the domes of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo) in Florence (1436–71), St. Peter's in Rome (1506), St. Paul's Cathedral in London (1689), and the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
 

      a case, ordinarily metal, with transparent or translucent sides, used to contain and protect a lamp.

      Lamp-containing lanterns have been found at Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other classical sites. They have been made of iron, silver, gold, and tin and their sides of horn, talc, leather, oiled paper, and glass. Designs have ranged from crude boxes pierced with nail holes to Oriental openwork bronze and exquisitely delicate examples of Renaissance and Baroque craftsmanship.

      The bull's-eye lantern, with one or more sides of bulging glass, was in popular use from the early 18th century, similar devices having been made at least as early as the 13th century. Dark until it was suddenly switched on by opening its door, it focused its light to some extent and served the purpose of the modern flashlight.

      The hurricane lantern, or hurricane lamp, still in use as a warning flare, has a shield of glass and perforated metal surrounding its flame to protect it from strong winds.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lantern — Lan tern (l[a^]n t[ e]rn), n. [F. lanterne, L. lanterna, laterna, from Gr. lampth r light, torch. See {Lamp}.] 1. Something inclosing a light, and protecting it from wind, rain, etc.; sometimes portable, as a closed vessel or case of horn,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lantern — Lan tern, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Lanterned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Lanterning}.] [Cf. F. lanterner to hang at the lamp post, fr. lanterne. See {Lantern}.] To furnish with a lantern; as, to lantern a lighthouse. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lantern — • In Italian or modern architecture, a small structure on the top of a dome, for the purpose of admitting light, for promoting ventilation, and for ornament Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Lantern     Lantern …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • lantern — mid 13c., from O.Fr. lanterne lamp, lantern, light (12c.), from L. lanterna lantern, lamp, torch, altered (by influence of L. lucerna lamp ) from Gk. lampter torch, from lampein to shine (see LAMP (Cf. lamp)). Variant lanthorn (16c. 19c.) was… …   Etymology dictionary

  • lantern — [lan′tərn] n. [ME < OFr lanterne < L lanterna < Gr lamptēr < lampein, to shine: see LAMP] 1. a transparent or translucent case for holding a light and protecting it from wind and weather: it usually has a handle on its framework so… …   English World dictionary

  • lantern — [n] lamp beacon, flashlight, gas lamp, gaslight, hurricane lamp, kerosene lamp, light, searchlight, torch; concepts 620,624,628,810 …   New thesaurus

  • lantern — ► NOUN 1) a lamp with a transparent case protecting the flame or electric bulb. 2) the light chamber at the top of a lighthouse. 3) a square, curved, or polygonal structure on the top of a dome or a room, with glazed or open sides. ORIGIN Latin… …   English terms dictionary

  • Lantern — A lantern is a portable lighting device used to illuminate broad areas. Lanterns may be used for signaling, or as general light sources for camping. Dim varieties are often used for decoration.The term lantern is also used more generically to… …   Wikipedia

  • Lantern FM — Infobox Radio station name=Lantern FM airdate= 19 October 1992 frequency=96.2 MHz (North Devon) 97.3 MHz (Ilfracombe) share = 20.3% share as of = September 2007 share source = [http://www.rajar.co.uk/listening/quarterly listening.php] area= North …   Wikipedia

  • lantern — n. 1 a a lamp with a transparent usu. glass case protecting a candle flame etc. b a similar electric etc. lamp. c its case. 2 a a raised structure on a dome, room, etc., glazed to admit light. b a similar structure for ventilation etc. 3 the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • lantern — n lamp, light, dark lantern, Sl. glim, bull s eye; oil lamp, lampion, hurricane lamp, tornado lamp, safety lamp, miner s lamp; jack o lantern, magic lantern, Japanese lantern, Chinese lantern; barn lantern, kerosene lamp, Coleman lantern,… …   A Note on the Style of the synonym finder