Get the details behind our redesign


[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. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for effigy
  • After his death, she solicited donations of mannequins on a radio show so an effigy could be fashioned.
  • Walk along the footpath and experience the mystery and power of this effigy.
  • The highlight will occur at dusk with the destruction of the effigy.
  • At the end of the week, a 40-foot wooden effigy is set aflame—the burning man.
  • His relations gave a funeral banquet and solemnly burnt the effigy.
  • He remembers that only a month ago, after a humiliating defeat, fans now loud in their praises hanged him in effigy.
  • In some places an effigy representing a witch used to be burnt in the bonfire.
  • The party moved on to watch the main event of the festival: the burning of an effigy shaped like a man.
  • Celia is moved to torch a small effigy of her father.
  • Many of these illegal traders operated in the fur-rich region near the effigy mounds.
British Dictionary definitions for effigy


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for effigy
1539, from L. effigies "copy or imitation of something, likeness," related to effingere "mold, fashion, portray," from ex- "out" + fingere "to form, shape" (see fiction). The Latin word was regarded as plural and the -s was lopped off by 18c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with effigy
see: in effigy
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for effigy

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for effigy

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with effigy