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 Give a hand to Lisa Schlenker, the puppet's creative director; Gabriella Ashlin, its puppeteer; and Aaron Reese Boseman, its rollicking basso voice. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 Nov. 2021 The timeline also covers the murder of thousands of Jews by the Arrow Cross Party, Hungary’s Nazi puppet regime, in 1944. Cnaan Liphshiz, sun-sentinel.com, 17 Nov. 2021 On Monday, the popular kids show welcomed Ji-Young, a seven-year-old Korean American, to its family of puppet characters. Jordan Moreau, Variety, 15 Nov. 2021 Brianna Fruean, an activist and environmental advocate for Samoa, speaks as the giant puppet Little Amal stands behind her inside the venue of the COP26 U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 10 Nov. 2021 Paintings, collages and digital works by the Syrian artist Tammam Azzam flashed up a wall behind the puppet. New York Times, 10 Nov. 2021 Representing a Syrian refugee girl, the three-and-a-half-meter puppet was joined on stage by Samoan climate activist Brianna Fruean. Angela Dewan, CNN, 9 Nov. 2021 Hanging nearby was the giant puppet that serves as the Ghost of Christmas Future, its black shroud and bony fingers temporarily still. Bo Emerson, ajc, 9 Nov. 2021 At the surface is the human drama of Jack Ma – China’s richest man, its most famous man, a year ago, now brought low and trotted around by his puppet-masters for the education of others in his class of upstart billionaires. George Calhoun, Forbes, 8 Nov. 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

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Puppet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puppet. Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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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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