Definition of candelabrum in English:


(also candelabra)


  • A large branched candlestick or holder for several candles or lamps.

    ‘candles in iron candelabra shed some light’
    • ‘That night the dining room was magnificent, with new, freshly cleaned drapes on the windows and beautiful candelabra shedding soft light everywhere.’
    • ‘A circular table was laden with silver, candelabra and flowers, and place-cards in ivory holders correctly identified each guest.’
    • ‘He lit a candelabrum at the wooden table Lin sat at.’
    • ‘Sir Timothy said he believes that the rendering is of a seven-branched candelabrum in the form of a menorah and that the drawing which indicates the completed object was to be at least 6ft tall relates to the Medici tombs project.’
    • ‘At one of the ends was a silver candelabrum with five branches - all holding lit candles save for the one in the middle.’
    • ‘Knox created a wide range of functional items for the home, including trays, biscuit barrels, plates, picture frames, vases, candlesticks, chamber sticks and candelabra.’
    • ‘Some of the largest pieces are currently on exhibit, including a large candelabrum that holds more than two dozen candles and two large oil parlor lamps made of silver.’
    • ‘In the corners of the alcove are two candle-stands but with no candelabra on them.’
    • ‘The hall was lit by elaborate pendant candelabra, with shades of Venetian glass, many of which were brought to Bhuj by Ram Singh himself.’
    • ‘Although now largely empty, the public rooms were originally decorated to impress, with many console tables supporting candelabra.’
    • ‘There were electric lamps around the edges of the room, but in the space at the front of the church there was a huge candelabrum.’
    • ‘All the original furniture, fittings and candelabra are in place and only the marble floor is covered by a carpet.’
    • ‘It's enormous, with gilt metal chandeliers, wall candelabra, a ceiling painted with clouds and cherubs and a golden statue of some old man with a three-pronged fork - Neptune, I suppose.’
    • ‘In 1807 Pall Mall became the first street in the capital to be lit by gas, spreading to 213 streets by 1823, but indoors candlesticks and candelabra still ruled.’
    • ‘The decor is unremarkable - flickering oil lights and faux candelabra, prints of Paris, and nicely set tables with proper linen and big generous balloon glasses.’
    • ‘The show will feature exquisite items from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century, including silver, giltwood and crystal chandeliers, sconces and girandoles, candelabra and candlesticks.’
    • ‘There was a candelabrum with soft, red coloured candles in the middle of the elegant, circular table, its flames dancing jovially and lighting Eliza's lovely face in its warm splendor.’
    • ‘Not even the decorated candelabra had been lit, it was late afternoon too and the day was cloudy again.’
    • ‘A few Belgian glass lamps are dumped at the first floor of the synagogue and a multitude of metal hooks hang from the ceiling waiting for lamps and candelabra to be re-hung.’
    • ‘Jillian and Graham sat on either side of a silver-plated candelabrum, its twin red candles dripping wax onto the paper tablecloth, empty coffee cups in front of them.’


Based on the Latin forms, the correct singular is candelabrum and the plural is candelabra. However, in practice candelabra is increasingly used as the singular form, with the plural as candelabras. In the Oxford English Corpus these forms are commoner than the traditional ones, and are coming to be regarded as part of standard English


Early 19th century: from Latin, from candela (see candle).