ETYM Old Eng. candel, candel, AS, candel, from Latin candela a (white) light made of wax or tallow, from candëre to be white. Related to Candid, Chandler, Cannel, Kindle.
1. Stick of wax with a wick in the middle; SYN. taper, wax light.
2. The basic unit of luminous intensity adopted under the System International d'Unites; equal to 1/60 of the luminous intensity per square centimeter of a blackbody radiating at the temperature of 2,046 degrees Kelvin.
Vertical cylinder of wax (such as tallow or paraffin wax) with a central wick of string. A flame applied to the end of the wick melts the wax, thereby producing a luminous flame. The wick is treated with a substance such as alum so that it carbonizes but does not rapidly burn out.
Candles and oil lamps were an early form of artificial lighting. Accurately made candles—which burned at a steady rate— were calibrated along their lengths and used as a type of clock. The candle was also the name of a unit of luminous intensity, replaced 1940 by the candela (cd), equal to 1/60 of the luminance of 1 sq cm of a black body radiator at a temperature of 2,042K (the temperature of solidification of platinum).