I want to know how to say “light bulb” in French. What’s the difference between ampoule and ampoule électrique?


  • 2
    The dictionary you post a link to provides both "English to French" and "French to English" translations. You might try reversing the search and then will easily find ampoule has (at least) three different meanings in French, only one of which matches "light bulb".
    – jlliagre
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 21:35

2 Answers 2


Même si ampoule désigne le plus souvent une ampoule électrique, le terme est plus général. Il peut désigner un récipient ou une formation qui ressemble à ce récipient. Par exemple:

  • une ampoule pharmaceutique qui contient une dose de médicament
  • une ampoule au pied, bulle de pus sous la peau

La page d'homonymes de Wikipédia donne d'autres exemples d'ampoules.


"Ampoule" can mean a lot things, so if you absolutely need to clarify you'll use ampoule électrique.

But most of the time, unless the context is extremely ambiguous, "ampoule" is fine for "light bulb".

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