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Sconce (?), n. [D. schans, OD. schantse, perhaps from OF. esconse a hiding place, akin to esconser to hide, L. absconsus, p. p. of abscondere. See Abscond, and cf. Ensconce, Sconce a candlestick.]


A fortification, or work for defense; a fort.

No sconce or fortress of his raising was ever known either to have been forced, or yielded up, or quitted. Milton.


A hut for protection and shelter; a stall.

One that . . . must raise a sconce by the highway and sell switches. Beau. & Fl.


A piece of armor for the head; headpiece; helmet.

I must get a sconce for my head. Shak.


Fig.: The head; the skull; also, brains; sense; discretion.


To knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel. Shak.


A poll tax; a mulct or fine.


6. [OF. esconse a dark lantern, properly, a hiding place. See Etymol. above.]

A protection for a light; a lantern or cased support for a candle; hence, a fixed hanging or projecting candlestick.

Tapers put into lanterns or sconces of several-colored, oiled paper, that the wind might not annoy them. Evelyn.

Golden sconces hang not on the walls. Dryden.


Hence, the circular tube, with a brim, in a candlestick, into which the candle is inserted.

8. Arch.

A squinch.


A fragment of a floe of ice.


10. [Perhaps a different word.]

A fixed seat or shelf.

[Prov. Eng.]


© Webster 1913.

Sconce, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Sconced (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Sconcing.]


To shut up in a sconce; to imprison; to insconce.


Immure him, sconce him, barricade him in 't. Marston.


To mulct; to fine.




© Webster 1913.

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