from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Luminous intensity expressed in candelas.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The illuminating power of a candle; specifically, the illuminating power of a candle of determinate composition and rate of burning, taken as a unit in estimating the luminosity of any illuminating agent: as, a gas-jet of 25 candle-power.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • (Photom.) luminous intensity; illuminating power, as of a lamp, or gas flame, measured in candelas, referring to the light of a standard candle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun former measurement of brightness of a light source

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun luminous intensity measured in candelas


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • 'And so it was defined in 1860 that a unit of candlepower was the light produced by "a pure spermaceti candle weighing one-sixth of a pound, burning at a rate of 120 grains per hour." Spermaceti candles weren't just an excellent source of oil, but were now a scientific instrument as well. When Michelson and Morley lit their spermaceti oil-filled lamps, they understood that it burned at a scientifically calibrated rate of eight candlepower units per hour.'

    November 29, 2008