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

Other Words from puppet

puppetlike \ ˈpə-​pət-​ˌlīk How to pronounce puppet (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 The meme depicts Grichka as a sort of crypto puppet master, dumping or pumping the markets to thwart a hapless, nameless investor. New York Times, 10 Jan. 2022 There are a wealth of wonderful cartoons from the Russian press and the wider European press at the time, depicting Rasputin as this looming figure, almost this puppet master that was in control of the Russian royal family. Simon Thompson, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 Carriage rides, live nativity, vendors, Santa, Christmas train, holiday puppet show, holiday specials and treats at local businesses. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 13 Dec. 2021 The Cincinnati Zoo’s PNC Festival of Lights features 4 million lights, the North Polar Express train ride, Fiona fairies, a blacklight puppet show and more. Susan Glaser, cleveland, 2 Dec. 2021 PBS Kids held a holiday puppet show to mark the festive occasion, and the children appeared starstruck at a performance by the Kraft Brothers. Libby Cathey, ABC News, 29 Nov. 2021 As commentators quickly pointed out, this isn’t the first time that Sesame Street has offered Covid advice, or even urged children to get vaccinated; the educational puppet show boasts a long history of involvement in public health campaigns. Dani Di Placido, Forbes, 7 Nov. 2021 Halloween on the Riverwalk featuring stories, songs and a puppet show will be held at 4:30 p.m. Michelle Mullins, chicagotribune.com, 22 Oct. 2021 Activities include readings, children’s and adults’ workshops, webinars, a puppet show, panel discussions, youth activities, paint sessions, awards and book giveaways throughout the day. Susan Dunne, courant.com, 12 Sep. 2021

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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Last Updated

27 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Puppet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puppet. Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on puppet

Nglish: Translation of puppet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of puppet for Arabic Speakers


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