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[ef-i-jee] /ˈɛf ɪ dʒi/
noun, plural effigies.
a representation or image, especially sculptured, as on a monument.
a crude representation of someone disliked, used for purposes of ridicule.
in effigy, in public view in the form of an effigy:
a leader hanged in effigy by the mob.
1530-40; (< Middle French) < Latin effigia, equivalent to effig- (ef- ef- + fig- shape, form; see figure) + -ia -y3
Related forms
[ih-fij-ee-uh l] /ɪˈfɪdʒ i əl/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for effigies
  • All around, set into niches in limestone cliffs, are tau-tau: effigies of the deceased.
  • Somewhere down the line, shopkeepers began adorning the stands with old clothes to create effigies.
  • Sitting on the edge of a pavement, effigies of a couple of lynched bankers swing gently in the breeze.
  • The unexpected defeat sparked protests and burned effigies of team members.
  • The tribal affiliation of the creators of many of these turtle effigies is unknown.
  • He was quoted as saying that he could find his way across the country by the light of his effigies burning.
  • Conical and linear mounds were used for burial mounds, but effigies were probably used for ceremonial purposes.
  • Numerous tiny stone animal effigies were likewise discovered.
  • The animal effigies show considerably more attempt on the part of the makers to reproduce all parts of the body.
  • The bowls are plain or shaped into bird and other animal effigies.
British Dictionary definitions for effigies


noun (pl) -gies
a portrait of a person, esp as a monument or architectural decoration
a crude representation of someone, used as a focus for contempt or ridicule and often hung up or burnt in public (often in the phrases burn or hang in effigy)
Derived Forms
effigial (ɪˈfɪdʒɪəl) adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Latin effigiēs, from effingere to form, portray, from fingere to shape
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for effigies



1530s, "image of a person," from Middle French effigie (13c.), from Latin effigies "copy or imitation of something, likeness," from or related to effingere "mold, fashion, portray," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + fingere "to form, shape" (see fiction). The Latin word was regarded as plural and the -s was lopped off by 18c. Specifically associated with burning, hanging, etc., at least since 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with effigies


see: in effigy
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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