mar·​i·​o·​nette | \ˌmer-ē-ə-ˈnet \

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

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 Peewinkles Puppet Studio: Tucked inside the Indiana State Museum, this theater only holds 65 patrons, and the puppeteers perform delightful marionette shows with engaging artistry. Lori Fulk / Indystar, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana for shy kids: 10 quiet hangouts your kid will love," 19 June 2018 Women like Su Yin and Zin Thant Thant are tapping into the magic of marionette puppets to educate rural children and their communities about health, hygiene and human trafficking. Didem Tali, USA TODAY, "Woman-led puppet theater brings health education to Myanmar villages," 22 Mar. 2018 Their gorgeous, haunting 3D motion sculpture makes dancer Shiho Tanaka look like an AI marionette. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "What a Computer Sees When It Watches You Dance," 11 Mar. 2015 There are marionette puppet shows and travel films at the Musikgarten Stage, and dance groups of all ages representing various regions of Germany performing throughout the weekend. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Major summer festivals in Milwaukee in 2018; Summerfest and many more," 18 May 2018 Stroessel created the concept, designed the set, fabricated wooden marionettes with haunting faces, co-directed the show, wrote her own dialogue and performed. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Baltimore artist Amy Sherald, who painted Michelle Obama's portrait, wins $40,000," 18 May 2018 Much harder to learn is a marionette, such as Howdy Doody, which is operated, on strings, from high above the puppet’s head. Joan Acocella, The New Yorker, "The Return of Basil Twist’s Underwater Puppet Show," 23 Mar. 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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Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for marionette

The first known use of marionette was circa 1620

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More Definitions for marionette



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 \

Kids Definition of marionette

: a puppet moved by attached strings

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