1. Something inclosing a light, and protecting it from wind, rain, etc.; sometimes portable, as a closed vessel or case of horn, perforated tin, glass, oiled paper, or other material, having a lamp or candle within; sometimes fixed, as the glazed inclosure of a street light, or of a lighthouse light.

2. An open structure of light material set upon a roof, to give light and air to the interior. A cage or open chamber of rich architecture, open below into the building or tower which it crowns.

A smaller and secondary cupola crowning a larger one, for ornament, or to admit light; such as the lantern of the cupola of the Capitol at Washington, or that of the Florence cathedral.

3. <machinery> A lantern pinion or trundle wheel. See Lantern pinion (below).

4. <engineering> A kind of cage inserted in a stuffing box and surrounding a piston rod, to separate the packing into two parts and form a chamber between for the reception of steam, etc.; called also lantern brass.

5. A perforated barrel to form a core upon.

6. <zoology> See Aristotle's lantern.

Fig. 1 represents a hand lantern; fig. 2, an arm lantern; fig. 3, a breast lantern; so named from the positions in which they are carried. Dark lantern, a lantern with a single opening, which may be closed so as to conceal the light; called also bull's-eye. Lantern fly, Lantern carrier, any translucent, marine, bivalve shell of the genus Anatina, and allied genera. Magic lantern, an optical instrument consisting of a case inclosing a light, and having suitable lenses in a lateral tube, for throwing upon a screen, in a darkened room or the like, greatly magnified pictures from slides placed in the focus of the outer lens.

Origin: F. Lanterne, L. Lanterna, laterna, from Gr. Light, torch. See Lamp.

(01 Mar 1998)

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