dummy

noun
dum·​my | \ ˈdə-mē How to pronounce dummy (audio) \
plural dummies

Definition of dummy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a dated, offensive : a person who is incapable of speaking
b : a person who is habitually silent
c : a stupid person He's no dummy. She loves you, you dummy.
2 card games
a : the exposed hand in bridge played by the declarer in addition to his or her own hand
b : a bridge player whose hand is a dummy
3 : an imitation, copy, or likeness of something used as a substitute: such as
a : mannequin a crash test dummy
b football : a stuffed figure or cylindrical bag used for tackling (see tackle entry 2 sense 1b) and blocking practice
c entertainment : a large puppet usually having movable features (such as mouth and arms) manipulated by a ventriloquist
d chiefly British : pacifier sense 2
4 : one seeming to act independently but in reality controlled by another a dummy for the real store owner
5 printing
a : a mock-up of a proposed publication (such as a book or magazine)
b : a set of pages (as for a newspaper or magazine) with the position of text and artwork indicated for the printer (see printer sense a)

dummy

adjective

Definition of dummy (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : having the appearance of being real : artificial dummy foods in the display case
b : existing in name only : fictitious dummy corporations
2 : apparently acting for oneself while really acting for or at the direction of another a dummy director

dummy

verb
dummied; dummying

Definition of dummy (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

publishing
: to make a dummy (see dummy entry 1 sense 5) of (something, such as a publication) often used with updummied up the front page

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for dummy

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of dummy in a Sentence

Noun She loves you, you dummy. They practiced CPR on a dummy. The bomb was just a dummy. Adjective They took apart a dummy bomb. the dummy shutters on the house are actually made of vinyl and are for decoration only
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Each year, fire safety officials warn of the dangers of fireworks and stage demonstrations of dummies that catch fire and watermelons that explode. Linda Trischitta, Sun-Sentinel.com, "3 boys hurt, one loses hand, in fireworks accident, official says," 10 July 2017 Zuby said the Tesla Model S didn’t have a strong enough safety belt, and a dummy used to simulate a driver in the small overlap test moved too far forward during the crash, striking its head on the steering wheel. Diana Kruzman, USA TODAY, "Three big cars get top IIHS crash rating -- not Tesla," 6 July 2017 At NASA Langley's Landing and Impact Research Facility, ten crash test dummies were buckled into a section of airplane fuselage and dropped from the sky. Chris Clarke, Popular Mechanics, "Airline Crash Test Dummies Live a Tough Life," 6 July 2017 Nursing students practice clinical procedures using virtual reality and full-size dummies, including a birthing simulator named Lucina. Jennifer Lu, miamiherald, "From prosthetic hands to bands that jam, innovations shine at eMerge Americas," 12 June 2017 The American Heart Association employs a bunch of dummies. Jessica Roy, The Cut, "This Week in Drama: Drake vs. Josh, Spicer Fat-Shamed, and the Great CIA Snack Scandal," 23 June 2017 While the group did 100 to 120 chest compressions a minute on CPR dummies, or 30 compressions and two breaths, Metro took photos with her phone and streamed the scene on Facebook Live. Victoria St. Martin, Washington Post, "This Md. mom’s son nearly drowned. Now she’s made it a mission to help people learn CPR.," 5 July 2017 TV show host Ellen DeGeneres presented her a ventriloquist dummy named Stacy as a gift. David Frese, kansascity.com, "Amazing Macey: How a 7-year-old Kansas girl became a beloved presidential star," 30 June 2017 Baig is the co-author of iPhone For Dummies, an independent work published by Wiley. Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY, "What the first iPhone tells us about tech's future," 23 June 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Big Kid’ seat show child-sized test dummies bending violently at the hip, torsos, and neck, as well as test dummy heads being thrown to the side. Patricia Callahan, ProPublica, "House Subcommittee Opens Investigation of Evenflo, Maker of “Big Kid” Booster Seats," 12 Feb. 2020 In a study of nearly 500 children, two-thirds who received Palforzia could eat the equivalent of two peanuts — and some three or four — compared to just 4% of patients given a dummy drug. Lauran Neergaard, Anchorage Daily News, "FDA approves first treatment for kids with peanut allergy," 1 Feb. 2020 Men dressed in camouflage suits and balaclavas – carrying realistic-looking dummy weapons – entered a school in Barczewo, a town about 140 miles north of Warsaw, on Nov. 14, while students were in class. Fox News, "Poland school principal staged fake active shooter situation, failed to let anyone else know: report," 7 Dec. 2019 If West returns a heart, South ruffs East’s queen and reaches dummy with a trump to discard two clubs on the high hearts. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: Sept. 9, 2019," 9 Sep. 2019 In the years since, the Hotline has been ever ready for a crisis, monitored 24 hours a day, and continuously tested every hour, using dummy messages that have included everything from sports scores to Shakespeare quotes. Garrett M. Graff, Wired, "Did Twitter Help Stop War With Iran?," 8 Jan. 2020 Aboard the capsule will be a dummy nicknamed Rosie, after Rosie the Riveter, which will be outfitted with dozens of sensors to measure the G-forces astronauts will endure. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "Boeing to launch capsule built for NASA astronauts on final uncrewed test flight," 19 Dec. 2019 The photographs were posted Wednesday and quickly drew dozens of comments condemning the depiction, which features a dummy with a rope around its neck and shackles on its wrists. Cary Spivak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee rental company Berrada criticized for employee who put lynching display on work truck," 20 Nov. 2019 The company’s next product is a mobile dummy dubbed HEKTR that police officers can shoot at with live ammo during training. BostonGlobe.com, "The robots are coming, faster than ever - The Boston Globe," 11 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb East took the ace and returned a heart, and declarer won and next led a club to dummy to return a trump, finessing with his jack. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: Sept. 20, 2019," 20 Sep. 2019 De Bruyne sprayed it wide for Thomas Meunier, whose cross was dummied by Romelu Lukaku into the path of Chadli, who beat Eiji Kawashima from close range for the winner. Nihal Kolur, SI.com, "WATCH: Chadli Goal In 94th Minute Caps Belgium Comeback vs. Japan," 2 July 2018 With the match seemingly headed for extra time and possibly penalties, a late counter from the Red Devils culminated in a Romelu Lukaku dummy that left Nacer Chadli to slot home unmarked and break Japanese hearts. SI.com, "Liverpool Fans Keen on Former Man Utd Star After Host of Standout World Cup Performances," 3 July 2018 Belgium went up the other end as De Bruyne led the charge, and the ball went into Lukaku who dummied to tee up Chadli, who tapped home to send Belgium into the quarter-finals. SI.com, "Belgium 3-2 Japan: Red Devils Secure Place in Last 8 After Amazing Comeback Win," 2 July 2018 Gerso Fernandes elected to dummy the ball, setting up Gutierrez to rip the game-winner. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity, "Sporting KC newcomers score three, club wins wild one in Chicago for first 2018 win | The Kansas City Star," 10 Mar. 2018 Spurs came even closer in the 58th minute when Son cut inside from the right hand side this time, dummied his way past two Everton defenders and smashed the ball against the base of the post. SI.com, "Tottenham 4-0 Everton: Harry Kane Breaks Spurs Scoring Record in Comfortable Victory," 13 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dummy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dummy

Noun

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

circa 1928, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dummy

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

dumb entry 1 + -y entry 4

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dummy

Time Traveler for dummy

Time Traveler

The first known use of dummy was in 1598

See more words from the same year

Statistics for dummy

Cite this Entry

“Dummy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dummy. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dummy

dummy

noun
How to pronounce dummy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dummy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

chiefly US, informal : a stupid person
: a doll that is shaped like and is as large as a person
: a copy of a finished object that is used during practice or training

dummy

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dummy (Entry 2 of 2)

: looking real but not functioning or able to be used

dummy

noun
dum·​my | \ ˈdə-mē How to pronounce dummy (audio) \
plural dummies

Kids Definition of dummy

1 : something shaped like a human a clothes store dummy
2 : a doll used in a ventriloquist's act
3 : a stupid person

dummy

noun
dum·​my | \ ˈdəm-ē How to pronounce dummy (audio) \
plural dummies

Medical Definition of dummy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a horse lacking the ability to respond to ordinary stimuli because of cerebral damage especially following encephalomyelitis
2 : pontic

dummy

adjective

Medical Definition of dummy (Entry 2 of 2)

: being a placebo those who unknowingly receive a dummy pill instead of the real thing— Nicholas Wade

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dummy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dummy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dummy

Spanish Central: Translation of dummy

Nglish: Translation of dummy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dummy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dummy

Comments on dummy

What made you want to look up dummy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!