figurehead

noun
fig·​ure·​head | \ˈfi-g(y)ər-ˌhed \

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

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Zimmerman is the figurehead, the living statue in the back of the clubhouse, the local kid who was the franchise's first hope. Chelsea Janes, chicagotribune.com, "Bryce Harper plays All-Star week host in a city he could soon be leaving," 13 July 2018 There has been a certain quality to having teenagers act as figureheads for a movement that has not gone unnoticed in the wake of the March for Our Lives rally on Saturday. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "A fake photo of Emma Gonzalez went viral on the far right, where Parkland teens are villains," 26 Mar. 2018 There has been a certain quality to having teenagers act as figureheads for a movement that has not gone unnoticed in the wake of the March for Our Lives rally on Saturday. Alex Horton, courant.com, "A fake photo of Emma González went viral on the far right, where Parkland teens are villains," 26 Mar. 2018 The attacking midfielder is now looking ahead to the World Cup, and will be a key figurehead in Brazil's quest for a sixth title. SI.com, "Philippe Coutinho Named Man of the Moment Ahead of 2018 FIFA World Cup," 6 June 2018 Those students, who have become figureheads for a national student movement on gun control, stopped to see Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La. Leigh Ann Caldwell, NBC News, "Congress faces old gun debate with new pressure to act," 27 Feb. 2018 Lakeith Stanfield stars as Cassius Green, a young striver who becomes the figurehead for the struggle between the American dream and human morality. Katie Walsh, kansascity, "‘Sorry to Bother You’ skewers corporate and cultural corruption," 12 July 2018 Neymar has, according to Marca, been kept away from all media duties, despite being the figurehead of the team and its most popular member, specifically to shield him from tricky questions about his antics here in Russia. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Brazil is desperately trying to coddle Neymar, whose talent outweighs dramatic antics," 5 July 2018 By giving her name to this cause, Goldin has helped legitimize it and has become a figurehead for a group of people — those all too often dismissed as addicts — who have largely been treated as invisible. New York Times, "Nan Goldin Survived an Overdose to Fight the Opioid Epidemic," 11 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of figurehead

1765, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for figurehead

Last Updated

25 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for figurehead

The first known use of figurehead was in 1765

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More Definitions for figurehead

figurehead

noun

English Language Learners Definition of figurehead

: 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

noun
fig·​ure·​head | \ˈfi-gyər-ˌhed \

Kids Definition of figurehead

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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