Definition of effigy
: an image or representation especially of a person; especially : a crude figure representing a hated person
: publicly in the form of an effigy the football coach was burned in effigy
effigy was our Word of the Day on 11/16/2008. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
An earlier sense of effigy is "a likeness of a person shaped out of stone or other materials," so it’s not surprising to learn that effigy derives from the Latin verb fingere, which means "to shape." Fingere is the common ancestor of a number of other English nouns that name things you can shape. A fiction is a story you shape with your imagination. Figments are shaped by the imagination, too; they’re something you imagine or make up. A figure can be a numeral, a shape, or a picture that you shape as you draw or write.
Origin and Etymology of effigy
Medieval French effigie, from Latin effigies, from effingere to form, from ex- + fingere to shape — more at dough
First Known Use: 1539
EFFIGY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of effigy for English Language Learners
: an image of a person
Seen and Heard
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