a round stick of wax (= solid oil or fat) with a piece of string in the middle (called a wick) that burns to give light
can‧dle S3 /ˈkændl/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[Date: 600-700; Language: Latin; Origin: candela, from candere; ⇨ ↑candid]
1. a stick of ↑wax with a string through the middle, which you burn to give light
2. can’t hold a candle to somebody/something informal if something or someone cannot hold a candle to something or someone else, they are not as good as the other thing or person:
No other singer can hold a candle to her.
⇨ burn the candle at both ends at ↑burn1(19)
• • •
▪ light a candle She lit a candle in the church.
▪ blow out a candle Can you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake?
▪ a candle burns (=is giving out light) The house was dark except for one candle burning in a window.
▪ a candle flickers (=the flame moves in an unsteady way) As the door opened, the candles flickered unsteadily.
▪ a candle goes out A sudden draught made the candles go out.
▪ a lighted candle A procession moved through the village carrying lighted candles.
▪ a flickering candle (=with the flame moving unsteadily) The church was full of flickering white candles.
■ candle + NOUN
▪ a candle flame The candle flame flickered.
• • •
▪ light something that produces light, especially electric light, to help you to see: She switched the kitchen light on. | The lights in the house were all off.
▪ lamp an object that produces light by using electricity, oil, or gas - often used in names of lights: a bedside lamp | a street lamp | a desk lamp | a table lamp | an old oil lamp | a paraffin lamp
▪ lantern a lamp that you can carry, consisting of a metal container with glass sides that surrounds a flame or light: The miners used lanterns which were lit by candles.
▪ torch British English, flashlight American English a small electric lamp that you carry in your hand: We shone our torches around the cavern.
▪ candle a stick of wax with a string through the middle, which you burn to give light: The restaurant was lit by candles.
▪ bulb the glass part of an electric light, that the light shines from: a 100 watt bulb | an energy-saving light bulb
can·dle [candle candles candled candling] [ˈkændl] [ˈkændl] noun
a round stick of wax with a piece of string (called a wick) through the middle which is lit to give light as it burns
• a flickering candle
• The room was lit by candles.
• to blow out/snuff out a candle
more at burn the candle at both ends at burn v., (the game is) not worth the candle at worth adj.
Idiom: cannot hold a candle to somebody
Old English candel, from Latin candela, from candere ‘be white or glisten’.
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition
candle / ˈkæn.dl̩ / noun [ C ]
B1 a stick-shaped piece of wax with a wick (= piece of string) in the middle of it that produces light as it slowly burns:
Shall I light a candle?
See picture candelabra, candle
© Cambridge University Press 2013
A candle is a stick of hard wax with a piece of string called a wick through the middle. You light the wick in order to give a steady flame that provides light.
The bedroom was lit by a single candle.
If you burn the candle at both ends, you try to do too many things in too short a period of time so that you have to stay up very late at night and get up very early in the morning to get them done.
PHRASE: V inflects
can·dle /ˈkændl̩/ noun, pl candles [count] : wax that has been formed into a stick or another shape and has a string in the middle that can be burned
burn the candle at both ends
- see 1burn
hold a candle to : to be on the same level as or as good as (something or someone) - used in negative statements
• The new movie doesn't hold a candle to [=it is not as good as] the original version.
not worth the candle chiefly Brit old-fashioned : not worth the necessary effort, cost, or trouble
• The car is so old that replacing the engine is not worth the candle. [=the effort isn't worth the cost]