candle


candle
candler, n.
/kan"dl/, n., v., candled, candling.
n.
1. a long, usually slender piece of tallow or wax with an embedded wick that is burned to give light.
2. something resembling a candle in appearance or use.
3. Optics.
a. (formerly) candela.
b. Also called international candle. a unit of luminous intensity, defined as a fraction of the luminous intensity of a group of 45 carbon-filament lamps: used from 1909 to 1948 as the international standard.
c. a unit of luminous intensity, equal to the luminous intensity of a wax candle of standard specifications: used prior to 1909 as the international standard. Abbr.: c., c
4. burn the candle at both ends. See burn (def. 43).
5. hold a candle to, to compare favorably with (usually used in the negative): She's smart, but she can't hold a candle to her sister.
6. worth the candle, worth the trouble or effort involved (usually used in the negative): Trying to win them over to your viewpoint is not worth the candle.
v.t.
7. to examine (eggs) for freshness, fertility, etc., by holding them up to a bright light.
8. to hold (a bottle of wine) in front of a lighted candle while decanting so as to detect sediment and prevent its being poured off with the wine.
[bef. 900; ME, OE candel < L candela, equiv. to cand(ere) to shine + -ela deverbal n. suffix; see CANDID]

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      light source now mostly used for decorative and ceremonial purposes, consisting of wax, tallow, or similar slow-burning material, commonly in cylindrical form but made in many fanciful designs, enclosing and saturating a fibrous wick.

      Candles were among the earliest inventions of the ancient world, as shown by candlesticks from Egypt and Crete dating to at least 3000 BC. By the European Middle Ages tallow candles were in wide use: in a Paris tax list of 1292, 71 chandlers, or candlemakers, are named.

      In the 19th century a French chemist, Michel-Eugène Chevreul (Chevreul, Michel-Eugène), separated the fatty acid from the glycerin of fat to produce stearic acid, from which superior candles could be made. New processes for producing candle stock appeared in rapid succession. In addition to stearin, two other important sources were found: spermaceti, from the head cavity of the sperm whale, and paraffin wax, from petroleum. A composite of paraffin and stearic acid became the basic candle stock.

      In use, heat from the flame liquefies the wax near the base of the wick. The liquid flows upward by capillary action, then is vaporized by the heat. The flame is the combustion of the wax vapour.

      Candle-molding machinery, also developed in the 19th century, consists of rows of molds in a metal tank that is alternately heated and cooled. After the molds are cooled, the candles are ejected by pistons. Spools of wicking from the bottom of the machine are threaded through the pistons to pass through the candle mold. As the cooled candles are ejected, the wicks are cut.

      The Standard, or International, Candle is a measurement of light source intensity. It was originally defined as a one-sixth-pound candle of sperm wax, burning at the rate of 120 grains per hour. This intensity of light was standardized in 1921 in terms of incandescent lamps, and candles are no longer used for reference.

      Modern candles are produced in a wide variety of colours, shapes, and sizes. Beeswax and bayberry wax are occasionally employed as additives, and some candles are scented. Candlemaking has become a popular hobby.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Candle — Can dle, n. [OE. candel, candel, AS, candel, fr. L. candela a (white) light made of wax or tallow, fr. cand[ e]re to be white. See {Candid}, and cf. {Chandler}, {Cannel}, {Kindle}.] 1. A slender, cylindrical body of tallow, containing a wick… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • candle — or candela or new candle or international candle [kan′dəl] n. [ME & OE candel < L candela, a light, torch < candere: see CANDESCENT] 1. a cylindrical mass of tallow or wax with a wick through its center, which gives light when burned 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • CANDLE — (Center for the Advancement of Natural Discoveries using Light Emission) проект источника синхротронного излучения третьего поколения в Ереване, Армения. Содержание 1 Предпосылки 2 Описание 3 …   Википедия

  • candle — O.E. candel lamp, lantern, candle, an early ecclesiastical borrowing from L. candela a light, torch, candle made of tallow or wax, from candere to shine, from PIE root *kand to glow, to shine, to shoot out light (Cf. Skt. cand to give light,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • candle — ► NOUN ▪ a stick or block of wax or tallow with a central wick which is lit to produce light as it burns. ● be unable to hold a candle to Cf. ↑be unable to hold a candle to ● not worth the candle Cf. ↑not worth the candle ORIGIN …   English terms dictionary

  • Candle — (Kändl), engl. Name einer sehr guten Art Steinkohle …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Candle — For other uses, see Candle (disambiguation). A close up image of a burning candle showing the wick and the various parts of the flame …   Wikipedia

  • candle — Synonyms and related words: ASA scale, Agnus Dei, British candle, Hefner candle, Holy Grail, Host, Pieta, Sanctus bell, Sangraal, Scheiner scale, ark, asperger, asperges, aspergillum, bambino, bayberry candle, beadroll, beads, bougie, bougie… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • candle — n. 1) to dip candles 2) to light a candle 3) to blow out, extinguish, snuff out a candle 4) the candle was burning; was flickering; was going out; was sputtering 5) a wax candle 6) the flame of a candle 7) (misc.) to bum the candle at both ends ( …   Combinatory dictionary

  • candle — /ˈkændl / (say kandl) noun 1. a long, usually slender, piece of tallow, wax, etc., with an embedded wick, burnt to give light. 2. something like this in appearance or use. 3. international candle, a unit of luminous intensity established by… …   Australian English dictionary


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