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 up dummied up the front page

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Synonyms & Antonyms for dummy

Synonyms: Noun

airhead, birdbrain, blockhead, bonehead, bubblehead, chowderhead, chucklehead, clodpoll (or clodpole), clot [British], cluck, clunk, cretin, cuddy (or cuddie) [British dialect], deadhead, dim bulb [slang], dimwit, dip, dodo, dolt, donkey, doofus [slang], dope, dork [slang], dullard, dum-dum, dumbbell, dumbhead, dummkopf, dunce, dunderhead, fathead, gander, golem, goof, goon, half-wit, hammerhead, hardhead, idiot, ignoramus, imbecile, jackass, know-nothing, knucklehead, lamebrain, loggerhead [chiefly dialect], loon, lump, lunkhead, meathead, mome [archaic], moron, mug [chiefly British], mutt, natural, nimrod [slang], nincompoop, ninny, ninnyhammer, nit [chiefly British], nitwit, noddy, noodle, numskull (or numbskull), oaf, pinhead, prat [British], ratbag [chiefly Australian], saphead, schlub (also shlub) [slang], schnook [slang], simpleton, stock, stupe, stupid, thickhead, turkey, woodenhead, yahoo, yo-yo

Synonyms: Adjective

artificial, bogus, ersatz, factitious, fake, false, faux, imitation, imitative, man-made, mimic, mock, pretend, sham, simulated, substitute, synthetic

Antonyms: Noun

brain, genius

Antonyms: Adjective

genuine, natural, real

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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
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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

The crew dragon won't be transporting any passengers—save for a dummy outfitted in astronaut gear named Ripley—but will contain 450 pounds of cargo meant for undertaking tests. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX Is Conducting Its First Passenger-Ready Launch on Saturday," 1 Mar. 2019 In August, The Intercept reported that Google had set up a dummy search engine at 265.com as a way of researching the Chinese market. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Google halted Chinese data collection program after Dragonfly backlash," 17 Dec. 2018 Police in Jersey City, across the Hudson River from New York, are teaming up with Amazon to install doorbell cameras and plant dummy boxes with GPS tracking devices at homes around the city. David Porter, The Seattle Times, "Sting uses fake Amazon boxes, GPS to catch would-be thieves," 12 Dec. 2018 The dummy and car will spend all that time drifting between the Earth and Mars, occasionally approaching but never orbiting either planet, in what is called a trans-Mars injection orbit. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX's Starman Has Passed Beyond the Orbit of Mars," 5 Nov. 2018 The tests would use a dummy warhead without any fissile material. Paul Sonne, Washington Post, "Trump poised to get new low-yield nuclear weapons," 13 June 2018 The tailors take all measurements by hand, create dummy jackets to check the client’s posture, and meticulously stitch using only pure silk. Janice Leung Hayes, Condé Nast Traveler, "23 Best Things to Do in Hong Kong," 27 Feb. 2018 Dimitri Payet produced a magnificent step-over dummy to solidify a win for Olympique de Marseille, but had the side-effect of injuring the goalkeeper. SI.com, "VIDEO: Former PL Star Dimitri Payet Injures Opposition Goalkeeper With Magnificent Step-over," 17 Jan. 2018 Several early tests with dummy bombs were a dud because the bats woke too late (causing them to plummet ingloriously to the ground once released) or too soon (before their cargo had been attached and allowing them to escape the base). Lucy Cooke, Washington Post, "The batty, explosive history of bats in the military — and why this new idea just might work," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near dummy

dumka

dummel

dummkopf

dummy

dummy duck

dummy index

dummyism

Statistics for dummy

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dummy

The first known use of dummy was in 1598

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More Definitions for dummy

dummy

noun

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
3 : placebo

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on dummy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dummy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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