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


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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 So is a Trump spot that accuses Mr. Biden of being China’s puppet. Steve Cohen, WSJ, "Reagan Campaign Lesson: Attack Ads Are for Losers," 26 June 2020 Joe Biden is a helpless puppet of the radical left. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "This Is How Trump Plans to Beat Biden," 21 June 2020 On the streets, Lam was the target of disdain, derided as Beijing’s puppet who had sold out Hong Kong. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, "A Stubborn Leader, a Broken System," 18 June 2020 Kylo Ren, son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, grapples with his abusive puppet master, Snoke, aboard the flagship Supremacy. Alex Kane, USA TODAY, "How to watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi," 16 June 2020 Campers will watch a different opera each week in video recordings from previous performances at the Met, respond to learning prompts and participate in hands-on activities such as puppet-making, songwriting and baking. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Dallas school district music educator to teach in the upcoming Met Opera Global Summer Camp," 12 June 2020 Just as puppet Punch struts and preens on stage, so too does his human operator, who declares himself publicly to be the greatest puppeteer in the world. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Judy & Punch Reimagines A Children’s Puppet Show Where The Hero Beats His Wife To Death," 8 June 2020 To them, wealthy Jewish investor and democracy advocate George Soros is the puppet master of the world economy. Matthew Valasik, The Conversation, "Why are white supremacists protesting the deaths of black people?," 5 June 2020 In this version of events, the puppet master was Obama, rather than Vladimir Putin. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Obamagate Is the Ultimate Republican Non-Scandal," 15 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for puppet

Time Traveler

The first known use of puppet was in 1538

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Statistics for puppet

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Puppet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puppet. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for puppet


How to pronounce puppet (audio)

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 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

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