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 Ryan Lisa and the Toulouse-Lautrec puppet appear in the final set piece inside Judson Memorial Church, where the artist meets his maker by entering one of his own paintings. Washington Post, "Looking from the outside in, ‘Voyeur’ reimagines the life of Toulouse-Lautrec," 19 Nov. 2020 But since her Broome County, New York, school district transitioned to remote learning in March, the art supplies and puppet sit, untouched, in cardboard boxes stacked high on a bookcase. USA Today, "'That's what we do': These kids, teachers are making school work during COVID. Here's how.," 15 Nov. 2020 The conservative media, which includes some of your columnists, have tried to label Mr. Biden a puppet of the progressive left. WSJ, "Joe Biden’s Mandate Is to Heal Our Nation," 12 Nov. 2020 All the power will be centralized in the chief executive — a puppet of the central government. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Hong Kong pro-democracy legislators resign en masse after colleagues ousted," 11 Nov. 2020 Hi Paul, Your Sicilian marionette was a popular subject for the puppet theaters in Italy. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, "Staffordshire pottery goes to the dogs: Yenke Peddler antiques," 22 Oct. 2020 At the library’s Halloween event, visitors will be treated to songs, puppet conversations, bubble magic and more from various stations, according to the library. Brayden Garcia, Dallas News, "Arlington Public Library hosting drive-through Halloween parade," 19 Oct. 2020 Crafted by Japanese puppet maker Ichiro Komuro, the puppets are made of wood, wire, cloth, leather and yak hair and stand less than 1 foot tall. Kelsie Smith, CNN, "The original puppets from 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' are going up for auction," 17 Oct. 2020 Meanwhile, the funniest climate spot features a moose puppet and backs the Alaska Senate hopeful Al Gross. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "The Most Important Global Forecast That You’ve Never Heard Of," 14 Oct. 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

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Puppet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puppet. Accessed 28 Nov. 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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