"maker or seller of candles," late 14c., attested as a surname from late 13c. (also, from early 14c. "candle-holder;" see chandelier), from Old French chandelier (n.2) "candle-maker, candle-seller; person in charge of lighting a household, monastery, etc.," from Medieval Latin candelarius "a candle-maker," from candela "candle" (see candle). Native candleman is attested from mid-13c. By 1580s the word also came to mean "dealer in provisions, merchant."
updated on October 30, 2017