American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One that lights lamps, especially a person hired to light and extinguish gaslit streetlights.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A person employed to light street-lamps.
- n. Apiece of paper rolled into a spill, used to light lamps.
- n. A torch used for lighting gas-lamps.
- n. The bass (fish).
- n. A person employed to light streetlights at dusk and snuff them at dawn. An obsolete occupation since lights are now electric, most likely seen in the works of such authors as Charles Dickens, often appearing as a symbolic light-bringing figure.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. One who, or that which, lights a lamp a person who in former times lighted street lamps which were illuminated by a combustible gas; -- such lamps are now little used, and primarily as nostalgic ornaments.
- n. (Zoöl.) The calico bass.
- n. A device used to light lamps.
- n. (when gas was used for streetlights) a person who lights and extinguishes streetlights
- From lamp + lighter (Wiktionary)
“To the cold and weary citizens out on the streets back then, the lamplighter is a very comforting sight.”
“The lamplighter was usually a tall man, a character, and his position was considered an important one.”
“We watch the lamplighter move along the streets lighting the gas lamps and soon Astoria twinkles like the sky above.”
“Did you not see it? he bellowed at Laurie, our lamplighter.”
“Rossamund Bookchild is finally becoming a lamplighter.”
“A lamplighter moved slowly down the street from them, but it was otherwise empty.”
“Wordsworth, rather, hurries us onward in anapestic strides, imaging successive auditors (the apprentice, the newsman, the lamplighter, et al.), and ending with "pursue!”
“The box has a picture of a lamplighter knocking the glass out of a lamp with the end of his ladder.”
“Poetic Obituaries: I think the galosherman was a lamplighter.”
“There is also the difference in dress between the gentleman, who is very Regency looking in his pantaloons and the breechclad lamplighter.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘lamplighter’.
Some of these professions still exist today but the word for them has changed; some (mason or boatswain, for example), are still in use but are included for their rich historical associations. Som...
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