figurehead

noun fig·ure·head \ ˈfi-g(y)ər-ˌhed \
|Updated on: 17 Jul 2018

Definition of figurehead

1 : the figure on a ship's bow
2 : a head or chief in name only

Examples of figurehead in a Sentence

  1. The king is merely a figurehead; the government is really run by elected officials.

Recent Examples of figurehead from the Web

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

First Known Use of figurehead

1765

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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FIGUREHEAD Defined for English Language Learners

figurehead

Definition of figurehead for English Language Learners

  • : a carved figure (as of a woman) on a ship's bow

  • : a person who is called the head or chief of something but who has no real power


FIGUREHEAD Defined for Kids

figurehead

noun fig·ure·head \ ˈfi-gyər-ˌhed \

Definition of figurehead for Students

1 : a carved figure on the bow of a ship
2 : a person who is called the head of something but who has no real power


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