1. any of various devices furnishing artificial light, as by electricity or gas.Compare fluorescent lamp, incandescent lamp.
  2. a container for an inflammable liquid, as oil, which is burned at a wick as a means of illumination.
  3. a source of intellectual or spiritual light: the lamp of learning.
  4. any of various devices furnishing heat, ultraviolet, or other radiation: an infrared lamp.
  5. a celestial body that gives off light, as the moon or a star.
  6. a torch.
  7. lamps, Slang. the eyes.

verb (used with object)

  1. Slang. to look at; eye.


  1. smell of the lamp, to give evidence of laborious study or effort: His dissertation smells of the lamp.


    1. any of a number of devices that produce illuminationan electric lamp; a gas lamp; an oil lamp
    2. (in combination)lampshade
  1. a device for holding one or more electric light bulbsa table lamp
  2. a vessel in which a liquid fuel is burned to supply illumination
  3. any of a variety of devices that produce radiation, esp for therapeutic purposesan ultraviolet lamp

n.c.1200, from Old French lampe “lamp, lights” (12c.), from Latin lampas “a light, torch, flambeau,” from Greek lampas “torch, lamp, beacon, meteor, light,” from lampein “to shine,” from nasalized form of PIE root *lap- “to shine” (cf. Lithuanian lope “light,” Old Irish lassar “flame”). Replaced Old English leohtfæt “light vessel.” To smell of the lamp “be a product of laborious night study” is from 1570s. n.

  1. A device that generates light, heat, or therapeutic radiation.

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