a. A solid, usually cylindrical mass of tallow, wax, or other fatty substance with an axially embedded wick that is burned to provide light.
b. Something resembling this object in shape or use.
2. Physics An obsolete unit of luminous intensity, originally defined in terms of a wax candle with standard composition, later in terms of a carbon-filament lamp, and superseded by the candela. Also called international candle.
tr.v. can·dled, can·dling, can·dles
To examine (an egg) for freshness or fertility by holding it before a bright light.
[Middle English candel, from Old English and from Anglo-Norman candele, both from Latin candēla, from candēre, to shine; see kand- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.