from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A composition or structure in radiating form or arrangement, such as a rotating display of fireworks.
- n. An ornamental branched candleholder, sometimes backed by a mirror.
- n. An earring that consists of a central piece with three smaller ornaments or stones hanging from it.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An ornamental branched candle holder, sometimes with a mirror behind.
- n. A type of firework which creates a "whirling top" or "flying saucer" effect.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A branched lightholder, whether for candles or lamps, whether standing on a foot (see candelabrum) serving as a bracket projecting from the wall. The former is the more common signification in English use.
- n. A kind of revolving firework; a pyrotechnic revolving sun; also, any revolving jet of similar form or character: as, a girandole of water.
- n. A piece of jewelry of pendent form, often consisting of a central larger pendant surrounded by smaller ones.
- n. In fortification, a connection of several mine-chambers for the defense of the place of arms of the covered way.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an ornate candle holder; often with a mirror
The earliest uses of "girandole" in English, in the 17th century, referred to a kind of firework or to something, such as a fountain, with a radiating pattern like that of a firework.
By the 18th century "girandole" was being used for a branched candlestick, perhaps due to its resemblance to the firework.
Such a pattern is reflected in the word's etymology: "girandole" can be traced back, by way of French and Italian, to the Latin word "gyrus," meaning "gyre" or "a circular or spiral motion or form."
The choice furniture is arranged among paintings, girandole mirrors, lamps, porcelain and silver that would once have been prized by the carriage trade knocking on Phyfe's showroom door.
Back to the pasta bentos – penne (actually girandole) with creamy sundried tomato sauce, pine nuts and rucola.
On the pans that hung like haloes over the sink and on the winged girandole by the stairs it shone.
It was tastefully appointed with expensive antiques -- such as an early-nineteenth-century French giltwood barometer, an Italian girandole and a Chinese enamel hanging lantern -- decorative paintings, and plush furnishings.
A pair of girandole ear-rings of brilliants, each consisting of a large stud brilliant and of three pear-shaped brilliants united by four small ones; another pair of ear-rings composed of fourteen small brilliants forming a clustre of grapes, each stud of a single brilliant.
I have seen a set of cut-glass sent to Calcutta for the purpose, or a girandole, too handsome for Brazilian purchasers.
A few tears were shed by Dulac over the thin lank locks he was called upon to friz, and when all was completed and he held aloft the girandole to light him down the back stairs used by members of the royal household to gain admission to the state apartments of the royal palace without passing through the crowd in the ante-room, the faithful fellow turned heartbroken to his master's chamber.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.