To curse by bell book and candle
Candle Can"dle, n. [OE. candel, candel, AS, candel, fr. L. candela a (white) light made of wax or tallow, fr. cand["e]re to be white. See {Candid}, and cf. {Chandler}, {Cannel}, {Kindle}.] 1. A slender, cylindrical body of tallow, containing a wick composed of loosely twisted linen of cotton threads, and used to furnish light. [1913 Webster]

How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Note: Candles are usually made by repeatedly dipping the wicks in the melted tallow, etc. (``dipped candles''), or by casting or running in a mold. [1913 Webster]

2. That which gives light; a luminary. [1913 Webster]

By these blessed candles of the night. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Candle nut}, the fruit of a euphorbiaceous shrub ({Aleurites triloba}), a native of some of the Pacific islands; -- socalled because, when dry, it will burn with a bright flame, and is used by the natives as a candle. The oil has many uses.

{Candle power} (Photom.), illuminating power, as of a lamp, or gas flame, reckoned in terms of the light of a standard candle.

{Electric candle}, A modification of the electric arc lamp, in which the carbon rods, instead of being placed end to end, are arranged side by side, and at a distance suitable for the formation of the arc at the tip; -- called also, from the name of the inventor, {Jablockoff candle}.

{Excommunication by inch of candle}, a form of excommunication in which the offender is allowed time to repent only while a candle burns.

{Not worth the candle}, not worth the cost or trouble.

{Rush candle}, a candle made of the pith of certain rushes, peeled except on one side, and dipped in grease.

{Sale by inch of candle}, an auction in which persons are allowed to bid only till a small piece of candle burns out.

{Standard candle} (Photom.), a special form of candle employed as a standard in photometric measurements; usually, a candle of spermaceti so constructed as to burn at the rate of 120 grains, or 7.8 grams, per hour.

{To curse by bell, book and candle}. See under {Bell}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To curse by bell book and candle — Book Book (b[oo^]k), n. [OE. book, bok, AS. b[=o]c; akin to Goth. b[=o]ka a letter, in pl. book, writing, Icel. b[=o]k, Sw. bok, Dan. bog, OS. b[=o]k, D. boek, OHG. puoh, G. buch; and fr. AS. b[=o]c, b[=e]ce, beech; because the ancient Saxons and …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To curse by bell book and candle — Curse Curse (k?rs), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Cursed} (k?rst) or {Curst}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Cursing}.] [AS. cursian, corsian, perh. of Scand. origin; cf. Dan. korse to make the sign of the cross, Sw. korsa, fr. Dan. & Sw. kors cross, Icel kross, all… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To curse by bell — Bell Bell, n. [AS. belle, fr. bellan to bellow. See {Bellow}.] 1. A hollow metallic vessel, usually shaped somewhat like a cup with a flaring mouth, containing a clapper or tongue, and giving forth a ringing sound on being struck. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bell, book, and candle — The phrase Bell, book, and candle refers to an archaic method of excommunication for one who had committed a particularly grievous sin. Apparently introduced around the late 9th century, the practice was once used by the Roman Catholic Church.… …   Wikipedia

  • To speak by the book — Book Book (b[oo^]k), n. [OE. book, bok, AS. b[=o]c; akin to Goth. b[=o]ka a letter, in pl. book, writing, Icel. b[=o]k, Sw. bok, Dan. bog, OS. b[=o]k, D. boek, OHG. puoh, G. buch; and fr. AS. b[=o]c, b[=e]ce, beech; because the ancient Saxons and …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • and candle — Bell Bell, n. [AS. belle, fr. bellan to bellow. See {Bellow}.] 1. A hollow metallic vessel, usually shaped somewhat like a cup with a flaring mouth, containing a clapper or tongue, and giving forth a ringing sound on being struck. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • by the book — Book Book (b[oo^]k), n. [OE. book, bok, AS. b[=o]c; akin to Goth. b[=o]ka a letter, in pl. book, writing, Icel. b[=o]k, Sw. bok, Dan. bog, OS. b[=o]k, D. boek, OHG. puoh, G. buch; and fr. AS. b[=o]c, b[=e]ce, beech; because the ancient Saxons and …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To bear the bell — Bell Bell, n. [AS. belle, fr. bellan to bellow. See {Bellow}.] 1. A hollow metallic vessel, usually shaped somewhat like a cup with a flaring mouth, containing a clapper or tongue, and giving forth a ringing sound on being struck. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To lose the bell — Bell Bell, n. [AS. belle, fr. bellan to bellow. See {Bellow}.] 1. A hollow metallic vessel, usually shaped somewhat like a cup with a flaring mouth, containing a clapper or tongue, and giving forth a ringing sound on being struck. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Candle — Can dle, n. [OE. candel, candel, AS, candel, fr. L. candela a (white) light made of wax or tallow, fr. cand[ e]re to be white. See {Candid}, and cf. {Chandler}, {Cannel}, {Kindle}.] 1. A slender, cylindrical body of tallow, containing a wick… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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