Word of the Day: Marionette


noun \ˌmer-ē-ə-ˈnet\

: a puppet that is moved by pulling strings or wires that are attached to its body


Full Definition of MARIONETTE

:  a small-scale usually wooden figure (as of a person) with jointed limbs that is moved from above by manipulation of the attached strings or wires



French marionnette, from Middle French maryonete, from Marion, diminutive of Marie Mary

First Known Use: circa 1620


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Puppet figure manipulated from above by strings attached to a wooden cross or control. The figure, also called a string puppet, is usually manipulated by nine strings, attached to each leg, hand, shoulder, and ear and at the base of the spine. Additional strings give more sensitive control of movement, and some marionettes can be made to imitate almost every human and animal action. Early marionettes were controlled by an iron rod instead of strings, a form that survived in Sicily. In the 18th century, marionette operas were extremely popular, and they are still performed today in Salzburg to Mozart’s music. See also puppetry.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary copyright © 2014 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

wooden, lifeless doll manipulated by hidden string pullers who put words in his mouth while living vicariously through his actions
“At least Al Gore can pop a woody, unlike that Texas marionette”
by Laura Bush April 28, 2003
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