Middle English (13th century), via Old French lanterne from Latin lanterna (“lantern”), itself a corruption of Ancient Greek λαμπτήρ (“torch”) (see lamp, λάμπω) by influence of Latin lucerna (“lamp”). The spelling lanthorn was current during the 16th to 19th centuries and originates with a folk etymology associating the word with the use of horn as translucent cover. For the verb, compare French lanterner to hang at the lamp-post.
Alternative forms 
- (archaic) lanthorn
lantern (plural lanterns)
- A case of translucent or transparent material made to protect a flame, or light, used to illuminate its surroundings.
- (transitive) To furnish with a lantern.
- to lantern a lighthouse