A sconce is a wall-mounted candle holder or light fixture. The hallway in your house might be lit by an electric sconce on the wall.

The noun sconce can be used in two ways. First, a light that hangs on a wall is a sconce, whether it's an electric light in a wall bracket or a flaming torch mounted in a castle's corridor. The other kind of sconce is a castle or city fortification that's meant to protect against both enemies and bad weather. Both kinds of sconce come from the Old French esconse, "lantern or hiding place," with the Latin root abscondere, "to hide."

Definitions of sconce

n a decorative wall bracket for holding candles or other sources of light

Type of:
bracket, wall bracket
a support projecting from a wall (as to hold a shelf)

n a shelter or screen providing protection from enemy fire or from the weather

Type of:
a structure that provides privacy and protection from danger
protective covering that provides protection from the weather

n a small fort or earthwork defending a ford, pass, or castle gate

Type of:
an earthen rampart
fort, fortress
a fortified defensive structure

n a candle or flaming torch secured in a sconce

Type of:
light, light source
any device serving as a source of illumination

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