Main definitions of sconce in English

: sconce1sconce2

sconce1

noun

  • 1A candle holder that is attached to a wall with an ornamental bracket:

    ‘a wall sconce’
    • ‘Sound is presented in a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 mix and will not rattle sconces from your walls or make the neighbors head for the hills.’
    • ‘Black candles flickered in sconces on the walls and by the trencher.’
    • ‘Or wall sconces, but that would, again, involve hiring an electrician to install them.’
    • ‘Only if you're installing wall sconces, or recessed overhead lights, will you need to do electrical work in a room to change the lighting.’
    • ‘In the wide corridor, the candles guttered in the sconces on the wall.’
    • ‘This show lounge has such Art Deco-style touches as stylized, elongated female figures on the curtain, typical wall sconces, and skyscrapers in a sunburst pattern on the ceiling.’
    • ‘There was a small bookshelf against one wall and some lovely wall sconces.’
    • ‘Fakes are currently thought to be made in Spain and Italy, and include copies of wall sconces, alms dishes, ladles, candle moulds and other popular and valuable forms.’
    • ‘The bronze sconces that lined the walls gleamed, furnished with fresh candles, and the side-tables beneath them smelled pleasingly of beeswax.’
    • ‘They resemble cone-like wall sconces, and the colorful abstract shapes covering their surfaces appear to glow like stained glass windows.’
    • ‘No corner of the room had been neglected - even the wooden torches burning in the wall sconces had been carved with intricate flowers and leaves.’
    • ‘She held her sword firmly in her hand, the elven blade gleaming in the firelight the radiated off of the torches that were in the sconces along the wall.’
    • ‘The sconces on the walls varied - they were both on display and currently in use.’
    • ‘Pillar candles in wall sconces faintly illuminate the small dining room, which is dark by day and night.’
    • ‘The Revivalist home styles of the 1920s brought a craze for wall sconces - another gaslight derivative - but the fashion had largely died out by the end of that decade.’
    • ‘Thread the fabric through the wreath and let it fall lightly across each lighting sconce.’
    • ‘The door was in a darker part of the corridor that led down to their rooms on the upper floor and Edmund took a candle from one of the wall sconces, lighting it and holding it steady by the ornate lock plate.’
    • ‘Oil lamps burned in sconces along the walls, lighting the companions' way.’
    • ‘From $3 water glasses to $1,200 ice buckets and designer sconces set into the walls, the folks like the stuff so much that they just had to take it home with them.’
    • ‘She deftly detached a lantern off a nearby sconce on the wall.’
    1. 1.1 A flaming torch or candle secured in a sconce:
      ‘the sconces burning in the passage provided some light’
      • ‘It was dark, save for the sconces that lined the walls, but many of those had burned out, giving even further evidence that the wee hours of the morning were nigh.’
      • ‘I found myself in a long, empty hallway lit by a warm orangey glow from the sconces along the walls.’
      • ‘I had decided to take no candle and, instead, rely on memory and the dimly lit wall sconces to make my way to the front door.’
      • ‘From the flickering, uncertain light of the wall sconce, she could only see that he was tall and dark-haired, dressed in dusty but well-made traveling clothes.’
      • ‘When they reached the spot beyond the visible candlelight from the entry, wall sconces lit as they reached them.’
      • ‘Ornate sconces lined the walls, bringing the hall into flickering illumination.’
      • ‘My house on Whidbey Island, Washington, is almost exclusively lighted by wall sconces.’
      • ‘The two of them found themselves in a cavernous hall, dimly lit by wall sconces that emitted a flickering orange glow.’
      • ‘Also, the carefully placed wall sconces shed enough light - in two directions, no less - to break up the darkness of the wall color.’

Origin

Late Middle English (originally denoting a portable lantern with a screen to protect the flame): shortening of Old French esconse lantern, or from medieval Latin sconsa, from Latin absconsa (laterna) dark (lantern) (i.e. a lantern with a device for concealing the light), from abscondere to hide.

Pronunciation:

sconce

/skɒns/

Main definitions of sconce in English

: sconce1sconce2

sconce2

noun

archaic
  • 1A small fort or earthwork defending a ford, pass, or castle gate.

    1. 1.1 A shelter or screen from fire or the weather.

Origin

Late Middle English: from Dutch schans brushwood, from Middle High German schanze. The earliest recorded sense ‘screen, interior partition’ derives perhaps from sconce; the later senses date from the late 16th century.

Pronunciation:

sconce

/skɒns/