puppet

noun, often attributive
pup·​pet | \ ˈpə-pət How to pronounce puppet (audio) \

Definition of puppet

1a : a small-scale figure (as of a person or animal) usually with a cloth body and hollow head that fits over and is moved by the hand
3 : one whose acts are controlled by an outside force or influence a puppet ruler

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Other Words from puppet

puppetlike \ ˈpə-​pət-​ˌlīk How to pronounce puppetlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for puppet

Synonyms

action figure, doll, dolly, poppet [Midland]

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Examples of puppet in a Sentence

a dictator who was perceived as being an American puppet gave her a puppet with strings for a gift

Recent Examples on the Web

The Afghan government, which the Taliban has called an American puppet, has been excluded from the talks. David Zucchino, BostonGlobe.com, "Taliban attack 2d Afghan city in 2 days as peace deal nears," 1 Sep. 2019 During a San Diego Comic-Con panel, the cast spoke of how the producers, wrangled by lead EP Jane Tranter, crafted puppets to stand in for daemons on set to help the actors form stronger relationships. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Meet the daemons: HBO's His Dark Materials reveals voice cast," 30 Aug. 2019 The 10-episode prequel series is gorgeous, and made using a lot of the same mad puppet skills used on the original—in addition to lots of other filmmaking magic. Wired, "8 Movies and TV Shows You Need to Stream This Weekend," 30 Aug. 2019 To avoid them imprinting on people, the two were fed by condor puppets with the keepers remaining unseen. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Devoted parents, they purify the environment: Meet the vultures," 30 Aug. 2019 Providing voices for the puppet characters are such actors as Taron Egerton, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jason Isaacs, Simon Pegg and Keegan-Michael Key. oregonlive.com, "TV This Week: ‘The Affair’; ‘Power’; Dave Chappelle; ‘The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’; MTV Video Music Awards," 25 Aug. 2019 My mom did puppet ministry, and my aunt is a minister in Atlanta. Emily Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Danny McBride and John Goodman on God, capitalism, and wearing cool pinkie rings," 16 Aug. 2019 During that time, India managed Kashmir through puppet governments that would do India’s bidding. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "A Kashmiri Novelist on a State Under Siege," 16 Aug. 2019 On the show, the actor, painter and screenwriter portrays a lovable and kind Mr. Rogers-like television character called Mr. Pickles who uses puppets to teach wisdom and lessons to impressionable young minds. Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "Jim Carrey Calls Ariana Grande 'a Breath of Fresh Air' After Working Together on Kidding," 2 Aug. 2019

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

1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for puppet

Middle English popet youth, doll, from Middle French poupette, diminutive of *poupe doll, from Vulgar Latin *puppa, alteration of Latin pupa

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Statistics for puppet

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for puppet

The first known use of puppet was in 1538

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More Definitions for puppet

puppet

noun

English Language Learners Definition of puppet

: a doll that is moved by putting your hand inside it or by pulling strings or wires that are attached to it
: a person or an organization that is controlled by another person or organization

puppet

noun
pup·​pet | \ ˈpə-pət How to pronounce puppet (audio) \

Kids Definition of puppet

1 : a doll moved by hand or by strings or wires
2 : someone or something (as a government) whose acts are controlled by another

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More from Merriam-Webster on puppet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for puppet

Spanish Central: Translation of puppet

Nglish: Translation of puppet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of puppet for Arabic Speakers

Comments on puppet

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