from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A Christian feast commemorating the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple.
- n. February 2, the day on which this feast is observed.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The festival in the Christian year that commemorates the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple
- n. A quarter day in Scotland.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The second day of February, on which is celebrated the feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary; -- so called because the candles for the altar or other sacred uses are blessed on that day.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An ecclesiastical festival held on the second day of February in honor of the presentation of the infant Christ in the temple and the purification of the Virgin Mary.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. feast day commemorating the presentation of Christ in the temple; a quarter day in Scotland
Middle English candelmasse, from Old English candelmæsse : candel, candle; see candle + mæsse, mass (from the blessing of candles at the feast); see mass.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From candle + -mas, following the tradition that the candles to be used in church during the following year are blessed on this day (Wiktionary)