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!
Recent Examples of effigy from the Web
Yes, presidents, both Republican and Democrat, have always been burned or hanged in effigy by Americans protected by the First Amendment.
Enraged over the massive loss of life when an immense explosion erupted in the heart of the capital’s supposedly secure diplomatic quarter, people called for the execution of President Ashfraf Ghani, even burning him in effigy.
To the outside world, burners, also known as flow artists, are best known for performing in front of the effigy each year at Burning Man, the annual gathering of artists that takes place in the Nevada desert.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'effigy'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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
Middle 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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