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Sconce   Listen
verb
Sconce  v. t.  (past & past part. sconced; pres. part. sconcing)  
1.
To shut up in a sconce; to imprison; to insconce. (Obs.) "Immure him, sconce him, barricade him in 't."
2.
To mulct; to fine. (Obs.)






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Sconce" Quotes from Famous Books



... light. But when he had wiped his eyes, he drew a deep breath of relief and looked about him. The room was unfurnished save for a littered table and some chairs, and a gaudy picture of the Virgin that hung on the wall. On each side of it was a sconce, in which a slovenly candle guttered. A woman was perched on a corner of the table, a heavy shawl over her head. Under it the dark face, propped in the fork of her hand, glowed sullenly, and her bare, white arm was like a menacing thing. Dawson bowed to her with an instinct of politeness. In ...
— The Second Class Passenger • Perceval Gibbon

... sight, but it was not long before it came again to the other two, wherwith they tooke counsel and came all, 3 together against our ship, because we lay in the lee of al our ships, and had the Island of S. George on the one side in stead of a sconce, thinking to deale so with vs, that in the end we should be constrained to run vpon the shore, whereof we wanted not much, and in that manner with their flagges openly displayed, came lustily towardes vs, sounding their ...
— The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of The English Nation, v. 7 - England's Naval Exploits Against Spain • Richard Hakluyt

... a sconce's height Clapped his glad wings, and sate to view the fight; Propped on their bodkin spears, the sprites survey The growing combat, ...
— Playful Poems • Henry Morley

... frost pot'ter sconce prompt'i tude lodge lodg'ment mosque nom'i nate prong yon'der frond ...
— McGuffey's Eclectic Spelling Book • W. H. McGuffey

... Bonos nocthus Booke ("Williams craves his booke") Borachos Bossed Bottom, Brass, coinage of Braule Braunched Braves Bree Broad cloth, exportation of Brond Browne, Sir Thomas, quoted Browne-bastard Build a sconce.—See Sconce Bull (the executioner) Bullets wrapt in fire Bullyes Bumbarrels Bu'oy Burnt Buskes Busse, the (Hertogenbosch taken in 1629, after a memorable siege, by ...
— A Collection Of Old English Plays, Vol. IV. • Editor: A.H. Bullen

... respect to her sex and quality, while I started from my bed, which was the same from whence the Countess rose; and not knowing where to hide, or what to do, concealing my clothes between the sheets, I mounted from the table to a great silver sconce that was fastened to the wall by the bed-side, and from thence made but one spring up to the tester of the bed; which being one of those raised with strong wood-work and japan, I could easily do; or, rather it was by miracle ...
— Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister • Aphra Behn

... looked sharply round the room; the candles burned steadily in the sconce near the door. The tapestry lifted and dropped noiselessly in the draught; the dark corners beyond the press and in the window recesses suggested presences that waited; the wide chimney ...
— By What Authority? • Robert Hugh Benson

... am a Christian, answer me, In what safe place you have bestow'd my money; Or I shall break that merry sconce of yours, That stands on tricks when I am undisposed: 80 Where is the thousand marks ...
— The Comedy of Errors - The Works of William Shakespeare [Cambridge Edition] [9 vols.] • William Shakespeare

... show them my unbarbed sconce? Must I With my base tongue, give to my noble heart A lie that it must bear? Well, I will do't: Yet were there but this single plot to lose, This mould of Marcius, they, to dust should grind it, And throw it against the wind;—to the market-place; You have put me now to such a part, which never ...
— The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakspere Unfolded • Delia Bacon

... Quoth the fox, "O stupid dullard who seekest a vain thing, I marvel at thy folly and thy front of brass in that thou biddest me serve thee and stand up before thee as I were a slave bought with thy silver; but soon shalt thou see what is in store for thee, in the way of cracking thy sconce with stones and knocking out thy traitorous dog-teeth." So saying the fox clomb a hill overlooking the vineyard and standing there, shouted out to the vintagers; nor did he give over shouting till he woke them ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 3 • Richard F. Burton

... could see of the house with the help of the light from a solitary candle hanging in a sconce upon the wall, it had once been a handsome building. Now, however, it had fallen sadly to decay. The ceiling of the hall had at one time been richly painted, but now only blurred traces of the design remained. Crossing the hall, my guide ...
— My Strangest Case • Guy Boothby

... the castle, in a manner that would have pained Sir Dugald Dalgetty, Mr. Macrae had erected, not a 'sconce,' but an observatory, with a telescope that 'licked the Lick thing,' as he said. Indeed it was his foible 'to see the Americans and go one better,' and he spoke without tolerance of the late boss American millionaire, the celebrated J. ...
— The Disentanglers • Andrew Lang

... anybody. I was overdone," she said, and rose. Sister Tobias picked up the letter, and gave it to her. There was a Boer mutton-fat candle flaring draughtily in an iron sconce upon the wall. The Mother moved across the little room, and burned the letter to the last blank corner, and trod the fallen ashes into impalpable powder. Then she helped Sister Tobias to remove every trace ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... with them of the time of Themistocles, (they were not then very tractable, by the by,) and at the difficulty of disciplining them; but he is a 'bon homme' and a tactician, and a little like Dugald Dalgetty, who would insist upon the erection of 'a sconce on the hill of Drumsnab,' or whatever it was;—the other seems to wonder ...
— Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 6 (of 6) - With his Letters and Journals • Thomas Moore

... brought to bay, Padella turned and dealt Prince Giglio a prodigious crack over the sconce with his battle-axe, a most enormous weapon, which had cut down I don't know how many regiments in the course of the afternoon. But, law bless you! though the blow fell right down on his Majesty's helmet, ...
— The Christmas Books • William Makepeace Thackeray

... were being passed from line to line, one man leaning forward and tapping the man in front of him with the candle, the man in front passing it, in his turn, forward, and so on until at last it reached the altar where it was lighted and fastened into its sconce. This tapping with the candles happened incessantly throughout the vast crowd. Henry himself was tapped, and felt suddenly as though he had been admitted a member of some secret society. He felt ...
— The Secret City • Hugh Walpole

... those you pass'd, where former splendour reign'd, You saw the carpets torn, the paper stain'd; Squares of discordant glass in windows fix'd, And paper oil'd in many a space betwixt; A soil'd and broken sconce, a mirror crack'd, With table underpropp'd, and chairs new back'd; A marble side-slab with ten thousand stains, And all an ancient Tavern's poor remains. With much entreaty, they your food prepare, And acid wine ...
— The Borough • George Crabbe

... needless to note, belong to those "dismal dark subjects, neither entertaining nor ornamental," against which we have already heard the painter inveigh. Upon the ceiling, with a nice sense of decorative fitness, is Pharaoh in the Red Sea. From a sconce at the side, a Gorgon surveys the proceedings with astonishment. Hogarth has used a similar idea in the Strolling Actresses, where the same mask seems horrified at the airy freedom of the lightly-clad lady who there enacts the ...
— Great Pictures, As Seen and Described by Famous Writers • Esther Singleton

... have done that, as long as ye plaised, fur me sconce got used to being cracked at the ...
— The Lost Trail - I • Edward S. Ellis

... drinke is of a most hot nature, as being compos'd of Spices, and if it once scale the sconce, and enter within the circumclusion of the Perricranion, it doth much accelerate nature, by whose forcible atraction and operation, the drinker (by way of distribution) is easily enabled to afford ...
— Early English Meals and Manners • Various

... the head; whence Shakspeare's pun in making Dromio talk of having his sconce ensconced. Also, the Anglo-Saxon for a dangerous candle-holder, made to let into the sides or posts in a ship's hold. Also, sconce of the magazine, a ...
— The Sailor's Word-Book • William Henry Smyth

... easy-chairs, a chest of drawers with an alarum clock by way of ornament, a very low bedstead with a coverlet flung over it—a red cloth with a black key border—all these things made part of a whole that told of a life reduced to its simplest terms. A triple candle-sconce of Egyptian design on the chimney-piece recalled the vast spaces of the desert and Montriveau's long wanderings; a huge sphinx-claw stood out beneath the folds of stuff at the bed-foot; and just beyond, a green curtain with a black and scarlet border ...
— The Thirteen • Honore de Balzac

... morning. "Nellie tells me a young Court gallant had the insolence to try to address her yesterday in Cheapside, on her way back from St. Paul's, that you prevented his doing so, and that there was quite a scene in the street. If I knew who he was I would break his sconce for him, were he Rochester himself. A pretty pass things have come to, when a citizen's daughter cannot walk home from St. Paul's without one of these impudent vagabonds of the Court venturing to address her! ...
— When London Burned • G. A. Henty

... wall we have formerly mentioned as being covered with the skins of various animals, and holding them out from the side of the cave, discovered a very small arched chamber, which, as well as the one where Fleetword had just partaken of "the creatures comforts," was lighted by a small iron sconce, carefully guarded by a horn shade. Directly opposite the entrance a female was seated after the Eastern fashion, cross-legged, upon a pile of cushions. She placed her finger on her lip in token of ...
— The Buccaneer - A Tale • Mrs. S. C. Hall

... Seraphina's unstirring head was lighted strongly by a two-branched sconce on the wall; and when I stood by her side, not even the shadow of the eyelashes on her cheek trembled. Carlos' lips moved; his voice was almost extinct; but for all his emaciation, the profundity of his eyes, the sunken cheeks, the hollow temples, he remained attractive, with ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... Risingh, in despite of the maxim, cherished by all true knights, that 'fair play is a jewel,' hastened to take advantage of the hero's fall; but, as he stooped to give a fatal blow, Peter Stuyvesant dealt him a thwack over the sconce with his wooden leg, which set a chime of bells ringing triple bob-majors in his cerebellum. The bewildered Swede staggered with the blow, and the wary Peter seizing a pocket-pistol, which lay hard by, discharged it full at the head of the reeling Risingh. Let not ...
— Washington Irving • Charles Dudley Warner

... and O'Neil in desperation inserted his fingers in the opening and tore at it. Through the aperture O'Connell saw Maruffi run to an open window at the rear, then pause long enough to snatch the taper from its sconce at the foot of the little shrine and, stooping, touch its flame to the long lace curtains. They promptly flashed into a blaze. Parting them, he bestrode, the sill, lowered himself outside, and disappeared. It was an old but effective ruse ...
— The Net • Rex Beach

... note than Thomas the Clerk, or Thomas le Clerke, retiring from some official duties, arrayed in his white surplice and little quaint skull-cap. He was a merry wight, and in great favour with the parish wives. He could bleed and shave the sconce; draw out bonds and quittances; thus uniting three of the professions in his own proper person. He was prime mover in the May games, and the feast of fools. Morris, Moriscoe, or Moorish dancers, there is good reason for supposing, were not then introduced, though by some said to have been ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... authorize an untruth, by toleration of State, is to build a sconce against the Walls of Heaven, to batter ...
— Beginnings of the American People • Carl Lotus Becker

... Ulcered, where is the way out of this?" "Here," cried the Jester, upon which Job passed out of the door and went about his business and on such wise made his escape. Next the Herbalist stood up and opening his basket brought out fragrant herbs and fell to scattering them over his sconce and about it and over his ears,[FN416] till such time as all his face was hidden in greens, after which he also went out and accosting the house-master said, "The Peace be upon you!" And when the man returned the salam he asked him, "Hath ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 • Richard F. Burton

... outer side of the Elbe when this dreadful piece of butchery was done. The city of Magdeburg had a sconce or fort over against it called the toll-house, which joined to the city by a very fine bridge of boats. This fort was taken by the Imperialists a few days before, and having a mind to see it, and the rather because from thence I could have a very good ...
— Memoirs of a Cavalier • Daniel Defoe

... time had long been plowing furrows to plant disease. The interior of the house, when we entered it by the dingy and narrow hall-way, that night, well corresponded with the exterior. A tallow candle in a tin sconce was burning on the wall, half hiding and half revealing the grime on the plastering, the cobwebs in the corners, and the rickety stairs by which it might be supposed that the occupants ascended ...
— Shoulder-Straps - A Novel of New York and the Army, 1862 • Henry Morford

... darkness, as if from the branch of a sconce, over the forehead of a fair girl.—They are not married yet, and I do not think they will be. But I loved the youth who loved her. How he started! It was a revelation ...
— Cross Purposes and The Shadows • George MacDonald

... cui dictavit Angelus, &c. What shall become of humanity? Ars stulta, what can she plead? what can her followers say for themselves? Much learning, [720] cere-diminuit-brum, hath cracked their sconce, and taken such root, that tribus Anticyris caput insanabile, hellebore itself can do no good, nor that renowned [721]lantern of Epictetus, by which if any man studied, he should be as wise as he was. But all will not serve; ...
— The Anatomy of Melancholy • Democritus Junior

... got of laughing out, yaw-haw! when they see a gentleman ketching a reg'lar hyst; a long gentleman, for instance, with his legs in the air, and his noddle splat down upon the cold bricks. A hyst of itself is bad enough, without being sniggered at: first, your sconce gets a crack; then, you see all sorts of stars, and have free admission to the fire-works; then, you scramble up, feeling as if you had no head on your shoulders, and as if it wasn't you, but some confounded disagreeable feller in your clothes; yet the jacksnipes ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, February 1844 - Volume 23, Number 2 • Various

... head is now comic or ignoble; it was not so once; as is plain from its occurrence in the Prayer Book Version of the Psalms (Ps. vii. 17); as little was 'noddle', which occurs in one of the few poetical passages in Hawes. The same may be said of 'sconce', in this sense at least; of 'nowl' or 'noll', which Wiclif uses; of 'slops' for trousers (Marlowe's Lucan); of 'cocksure' (Rogers), of 'smug', which once meant no more than adorned ("the smug bridegroom", Shakespeare). 'To nap' is now ...
— English Past and Present • Richard Chenevix Trench

... play at the hand-ball; but, poor fellows, since the trade fell off, they have had no heart for the game, and the vintner's half-mutchkin stoups glitter in empty splendour unrequired on the shelf below the brazen sconce above the bracepiece, amidst the idle pewter pepper-boxes, the bright copper tea-kettle, the coffee-pot that has never been in use, and lids of saucepans that have survived their principals,—the wonted ornaments of every trig ...
— The Ayrshire Legatees • John Galt

... Poet, who that time much squanderd thought, Of which some might bring Coyn, whilst some none brought, As Men that hold their Brains of powerful sense, Will least on Poet's Tales bestow their pence, Tho he such Dispensations to endear, Had notch'd his Sconce just level with his Ear. An Emblem in these days of much import, When Crop-ear'd Wits had such a Modish Court. Tho some from after-deeds much fear the Fate, That such a Muse may for its Lugs create. As Stars may without Pillories ...
— Anti-Achitophel (1682) - Three Verse Replies to Absalom and Achitophel by John Dryden • Elkanah Settle et al.

... usual, insisted on regarding superstition as of one substance with faith, and objected to any scouring of the shield of religion, lest, like that of Cornelius Scriblerus, it should suddenly turn out to be nothing more than "a paltry old sconce with the nozzle broke off." The Devil continued to be the only recognized Minister Resident of God upon earth. When we remember that one man's accusation on his death-bed was enough to constitute grave presumption of witchcraft, it might seem singular that dying testimonies were so long of no ...
— Among My Books - First Series • James Russell Lowell

... air, and from a thicken'd pile Of clouds like Leucas top spreads underneath A sea of mists; the peaceful billows breathe Without all noise, yet so exactly move They seem to chide, but distant from above Reach not the ear, and—thus prepar'd—at once She doth o'erwhelm him with the airy sconce. Amidst these tumults, and as fierce as they, Venus steps in, and without thought or stay Invades her son; her old disgrace is cast Into the bill, when Mars and she made fast In their embraces were expos'd to all ...
— Poems of Henry Vaughan, Silurist, Volume II • Henry Vaughan

... and Jack's, who was singing the "Bay of Biscay O," at the same time. Gortz and Fips were all the time lunging at each other with a pair of single-sticks, the barrister having a very strong notion that he was Richard the Third. At last Fips hit the West Indian such a blow across his sconce, that the other grew furious; he seized a champagne-bottle, which was, providentially, empty, and hurled it across the room at Fips: had that celebrated barrister not bowed his head at the moment, the Queen's Bench would have lost one of ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... armchair, cushioned with leather, crimson once, but now hoary with wear, was drawn up to the table. Add half-a-dozen rickety chairs, and you have a complete list of the furniture. Lucien noticed an old-fashioned candle-sconce for a card-table, with an adjustable screen attached, and wondered to see four wax candles in the sockets. D'Arthez explained that he could not endure the smell of tallow, a little trait denoting great delicacy of sense perception, and the exquisite ...
— A Distinguished Provincial at Paris • Honore de Balzac

... drank, she waiting on me very gently; but now, being weary of painful writing, and hearing the call to the refectory, and the brethren trampling thither, I must break off, for, if I be late, they will sconce me of my ale. Alas! it is to these little cares of creature comforts that I am come, who have seen the face of so many a war, and lived and fought on rat's flesh ...
— A Monk of Fife • Andrew Lang

... time. We then proceeded to old Ham-a-dry-ed, the bacon man's, called out Fire, and got the old man down to the door in his shirt, when Lavender ran away with his night-cap, and threw it into the water in St. James's Square, whilst the Baronet put it in right and left at his sconce, and told him to hide his d——d ugly masard. This induced him to come out and call the Watch, during which time the buck Parson got into his house, and was very snug with the cook wench until the next evening, when old fusty ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... done, he made free, or affected to make free with his host, and entered his chamber without ceremony. Aramis was asleep or feigned to be so. A large book lay open upon his night-desk, a wax-light was still burning in its silver sconce. This was more than enough to prove to D'Artagnan the quiescence of the prelate's night, and the good intentions of his waking. The musketeer did to the bishop precisely as the bishop had done to ...
— Ten Years Later - Chapters 1-104 • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... as much as I can doe to keepe the termes of my honor precise: I, I, I my selfe sometimes, leauing the feare of heauen on the left hand, and hiding mine honor in my necessity, am faine to shufflle: to hedge, and to lurch, and yet, you Rogue, will en-sconce your raggs; your Cat-a-Mountaine-lookes, your red-lattice phrases, and your boldbeating-oathes, vnder the shelter of your honor? you will not ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... structure almost razed to the foundation, by those to whom they committed the custody of the word of their great Lord's patience; they in the mean time sheltering themselves under the shadow of a rotten lump of fig-tree leaf distinctions, which will not sconce against the wrath of an angry God in the cool ...
— Biographia Scoticana (Scots Worthies) • John Howie

... unmarried folks coming in the dark, to see who it would hit. Bless my sowl, but she was the droll Mary—for what did she do, only put a big brogue of her father's into it, that was near two pounds weight; and who should it hit on the bare sconce, but Billy Cormick, the tailor—who thought he was fairly shot, for it levelled the crathur at once; though that wasn't ...
— The Ned M'Keown Stories - Traits And Stories Of The Irish Peasantry, The Works of - William Carleton, Volume Three • William Carleton

... theme, Jose managed to keep Rosendo engaged until fatigue at length drove the old man to seek his bed. The town was wrapped in darkness as they passed through its quiet streets, and the ancient Spanish lantern, hanging crazily from its moldering sconce on the corner of Don Felipe's house, threw the only light into the black mantle that lay upon ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... decorated with wall-paper—Oriental scenes in sepia tint—and for all furniture, half-a-dozen chairs with lyre-shaped backs and blue leather cushions were ranged round the room. The two clumsy arched windows that gave upon the Place du Murier were curtainless; there was neither clock nor candle sconce nor mirror above the mantel-shelf, for Mme. Sechard had died before she carried out her scheme of decoration; and the "bear," unable to conceive the use of improvements that brought in no return in money, had left ...
— Two Poets - Lost Illusions Part I • Honore de Balzac

... mirrors, instead of seeing his own face he will perceive the object that is in the front of the other; so that, if two persons present themselves at the same time before these mirrors, instead of each one seeing himself, they will reciprocally see each other. There should be a sconce with a candle or lamp placed on each side of the two glasses in the wainscot, to enlighten the faces of the persons who look in them, otherwise this experiment will have no remarkable effect. This recreation may be considerably improved by placing the two glasses in the wainscot in adjoining ...
— Entertainments for Home, Church and School • Frederica Seeger

... leading to nowhere, its gables and slanting roofs, and its utter absence of all structural proportion. A shrine here, a broken statue there,—a half-obliterated coat-of-arms over an old gateway,—a rusty sconce fitted fast into the wall to support a lantern no longer needed in these days of gas and electricity,—an ancient fountain overgrown with weed, or a projecting vessel of stone for holy water, in which small birds bathe and disport themselves after a shower of rain,—those ...
— The Master-Christian • Marie Corelli

... occasion of one such imposition he said to Jorden:—"Sir, you have sconced [fined] me two pence for non-attendance at a lecture not worth a penny." Hawkins's Johnson, p. 9. A passage in Whitefield's Diary shows that the sconce was often greater. He once neglected to give in the weekly theme which every Saturday had to be given to the tutor in the Hall 'when the bell rang.' He was fined half-a-crown. Tyerman's Whitefield, i. 22. In my time (1855-8) at Pembroke College every Saturday when the bell ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... cried the men, compassionating his thinly covered skull, and twisting their own ringlets, glossy and luxuriant, though unconscious of Macassar. "A thousand pities that so fine a fellow should have a sconce like a cocoanut!" ...
— Rookwood • William Harrison Ainsworth

... spluttered suddenly in its sconce, and the fierce hissing of the fire—like some monster licking its chops over a bloody meal—were the only sounds that disturbed the stillness ...
— The Shame of Motley • Raphael Sabatini

... the nearing tide, that rusty boot. Snotgreen, bluesilver, rust: coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane. But he adds: in bodies. Then he was aware of them bodies before of them coloured. How? By knocking his sconce against them, sure. Go easy. Bald he was and a millionaire, maestro di color che sanno. Limit of the diaphane in. Why in? Diaphane, adiaphane. If you can put your five fingers through it it is a gate, if not a door. Shut your eyes ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... finished Mr. Newville took his gold-headed cane from its place in the hall, adjusted his wig at the mirror under the sconce, put on his gold-laced hat and walked leisurely, as became his majesty's commissioner of imposts, along Tremont Street to Queen, thence past the jail, the Town House, the pillory and the stocks, to his office in ...
— Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times - 1769 - 1776 A Historical Romance • Charles Carleton Coffin



Words linked to "Sconce" :   fort, wall bracket, fortress, shelter



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