pup·​pet ˈpə-pət How to pronounce puppet (audio)
often attributive
: 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
: one whose acts are controlled by an outside force or influence
a puppet ruler
puppetlike 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 But Krofft shows, which featured extravagant puppets and scenery, were often expensive to produce and sometimes had premises that could be a hard sell; one show, for instance, focused on magical, talking hats. Daniel E. Slotnik, New York Times, 25 Nov. 2023 The meatball heads were cast members putting their heads inside of a meatball puppet made by Monkey Boys Prods., who do all the puppets for the show. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 19 Nov. 2023 Go out with the kids: Bring the little ones out to the Santa Monica pier to see Amal, a 12-foot-tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl. Steven Vargas, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 An adjacent space exhibits some of the puppets the filmmaker animated, as well as props used to make the videos. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2023 In recent weeks, 4chan users have shared instructions to use AI image generation tools that are freely available online to create antisemitic depictions of Jewish people, leaning into old tropes of them as evil or greedy puppet masters, according to Memetica. Donie O'Sullivan, CNN, 14 Nov. 2023 In the venue itself, though, she was separated from her onetime lover and alleged puppet master by perhaps thirty feet of lawyers and screens. Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The New Yorker, 3 Nov. 2023 The little wolf puppet is a full prosthetic animatronic puppet. Brande Victorian, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Oct. 2023 That no event has really been an action, except in the undemanding sense in which the puppet Punch killing Judy was an action. Nikhil Krishnan, The New Yorker, 6 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of puppet was in 1538

Dictionary Entries Near puppet

Cite this Entry

“Puppet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puppet. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


pup·​pet ˈpəp-ət How to pronounce puppet (audio)
: a doll moved by hand or by strings or wires
: a person or a government whose acts are controlled by an outside force or influence

More from Merriam-Webster on puppet

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!