noun, often attributive
pup·​pet | \ˈpə-pət \

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

b : marionette

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 \ adjective

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

According to the Times, the group used group chats in messaging apps to distribute lists of people to harass, topics to monitor, and to issue pro-government messaging across multiple sock-puppet accounts. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Saudi Arabia reportedly groomed Twitter employee to spy on user accounts," 20 Oct. 2018 And as if that weren't intriguing enough, there are also some puppet characters thrown in. Suzannah Weiss, Teen Vogue, "Netflix Announces “The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell” Cooking Show," 28 Sep. 2018 In contrast, Hamilton is wonderfully wacky as Susannah, the newbie director whose thesis at Yale involved performing Noel Coward in a swimming pool with puppets. Patti Restivo, Howard County Times, "Laurel Mill Playhouse presents 'Laughing Stock'," 6 July 2018 The San Diego Puppetry Guild’s giant puppets will roam the grounds interacting with guests. Carolina Gusman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Mass Creativity Day brings kids, families together for an art-filled day of play," 21 June 2018 One sleeve is covered by the tight white neck of a crane-head puppet with a moveable beak. Washington Post, "Louisiana’s whooping crane comeback: 5 chicks this year," 13 July 2018 Singer Brendon Urie transforms into a playful puppet with a wild lifestyle. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Dillon Francis Produces & Cameos in Panic! At The Disco 'Hey Look Ma, I Made It!': Watch," 26 June 2018 The federation president, 1998 World Cup golden boot winner Davor Suker, is widely seen as being little more than a puppet for Mamic. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Croatia Meeting Its World Cup Potential As Chronic Chaos Subsides," 22 June 2018 Ali verbally carved up Frazier prior to the bout, portraying him as a puppet for the white establishment. Ed Barkowitz, Philly.com, "From Eagles-Cowboys to Ali-Frazier, a quick sampling of Philadelphia sports' first meetings," 12 June 2018

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

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for puppet

The first known use of puppet was in 1538

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More Definitions for puppet



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


pup·​pet | \ˈpə-pət \

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

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