mar·​i·​o·​nette | \ ˌmer-ē-ə-ˈnet How to pronounce marionette (audio) \

Definition of marionette

: a small-scale usually wooden figure (as of a person) with jointed limbs that is moved from above by manipulation of the attached strings or wires

Examples of marionette in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When Françis-Claude was born in 1948, his parents put marionettes in his crib. Liz Alderman, New York Times, "The French Theaters Where the iPhone Is No Match for Guignol," 11 Nov. 2019 Think of yourself as a marionette with a string pulling you up straight from the top of your head. Madelyn Fernstrom, NBC News, "10 surprisingly easy ways to get fit — without stepping foot in a gym!," 4 Oct. 2019 The roots of marionette variety shows, which use stringed puppets, stretch back hundreds of years to the Italian commedia dell’arte, Herzog said. Kimberly Fornek,, "Marionettes that dance, roller skate and swing on a trapeze visit Hinsdale Library," 30 July 2019 For a more elaborate souvenir, consider a marionette; puppetry in the Czech Republic and Slovakia is on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. Elizabeth Chang, Washington Post, "The best souvenirs to bring home from 10 countries," 2 July 2019 In the clip, which features a white-noise soundtrack, a model’s legs ankle-breakingly stretch to the side and pull upward like a marionette. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "What Is Going On With Balenciaga’s Possessed Instagram Clip?," 15 Nov. 2018 Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s action movie satire Team America: World Police put marionettes in compromising positions. Noel Murray, The Verge, "Long before The Happytime Murders, Peter Jackson’s Meet the Feebles featured perverted puppets," 24 Aug. 2018 Gianduja took its name from a popular marionette character. 2. Fox News, "5 things you didn't know about Nutella," 21 Sep. 2016 Marking a departure from Ballard's early focus on string marionettes, these late-career shows combine actors with puppets of all sizes and forms, constructed from such novel materials as polyurethane foam. Courant Community, "Community News For The Windham Edition," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'marionette.' 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 marionette

circa 1620, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for marionette

French marionnette, from Middle French maryonete, from Marion, diminutive of Marie Mary

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Time Traveler for marionette

Time Traveler

The first known use of marionette was circa 1620

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Statistics for marionette

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Marionette.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 8 December 2019.

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How to pronounce marionette (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of marionette

: a puppet that is moved by pulling strings or wires that are attached to its body


mar·​i·​o·​nette | \ ˌmer-ē-ə-ˈnet How to pronounce marionette (audio) \

Kids Definition of marionette

: a puppet moved by attached strings

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Comments on marionette

What made you want to look up marionette? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to constrict the range or activity of

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