mar·​i·​o·​nette ˌmer-ē-ə-ˈnet How to pronounce marionette (audio)
: 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 About the artist: With a practice that includes oil painting, marionette making and installation, Mosie Romney, 29, melds the figurative with the fantastical and the abstract. Jenny Comita, New York Times, 12 Sep. 2023 On the tops of Carias’ hands are tattooed marionette controls; on his right hand Baker’s name is inscribed as a tribute. Joelle Estelle Mendoza, Los Angeles Times, 28 Aug. 2023 Seen this way, Sophia is a cool trick of engineering, a marionette whose strings are pulled by software and sensors, with gestures and expressions that are meant to mimic ours, much like Jaquet-Droz’s creations. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, 26 July 2023 His followers tag him on social media with selfies featuring his marionette puppets, along with makeup and tribute tattoos all inspired by Carias’ puppet El Triste. Joelle Estelle Mendoza, Los Angeles Times, 28 Aug. 2023 Its steering mechanisms are operated entirely through manual cables, like a marionette puppet. Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Aug. 2023 Noel, who lives in Guatemala City, Guatemala, recalled in a phone interview that his older brother gave puppet and marionette shows in their family’s Cambridge home as a boy and expanded into other artistic endeavors. Bryan Marquard,, 23 Aug. 2023 He’s become a marionette in his own life, months after he got married and began the planning process of dreams. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 21 Aug. 2023 In tribute to Hitchcock, Taylor will share memories throughout the performance and introduce a marionette Hitchcock handmade and gave to him a half-century ago. Diane Bell, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'marionette.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1620, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of marionette was circa 1620

Dictionary Entries Near marionette

Cite this Entry

“Marionette.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


mar·​i·​o·​nette ˌmar-ē-ə-ˈnet How to pronounce marionette (audio)
: a puppet moved by attached strings or wires
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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