One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A lantern made from a hollowed-out pumpkin in which holes are cut to represent facial features, typically made at Halloween.
- ‘Candlelit jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.’
- ‘Make sure costumes are short enough that kids don't trip on them or inadvertently brush them against the low-lying flames in jack-o'-lanterns and candles.’
- ‘He wasn't around last Halloween when someone smashed the six jack-o'-lanterns I carved to spell ‘BE SAFE.’’
- ‘Cast a delicious spell on a room by lighting jack-o'-lanterns with real cinnamon, clove and nutmeg candles made of clean-burning soy wax - you'll enjoy all tire sensory seduction of pumpkin pie without the work.’
- ‘But zucchini is a different matter: His squash grow so well - and so large - that he saves the biggest ones to carve as green jack-o'-lanterns for Halloween.’
2archaic An ignis fatuus.
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