lay figure


: a jointed model of the human body used by artists to show the disposition of drapery
: a person so compliant as to be likened to a puppet

Examples of lay figure in a Sentence

the novel's characters are not fully fleshed humans, but are simply lay figures strutted out to serve as mouthpieces for conflicting points of view

Word History


obsolete English layman lay figure, from Dutch leeman

First Known Use

1795, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lay figure was in 1795

Dictionary Entries Near lay figure

Cite this Entry

“Lay figure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

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