figure-heads

figurehead

[fig-yer-hed]
noun
1.
a person who is head of a group, company, etc., in title but actually has no real authority or responsibility: Most modern kings and queens are figureheads.
2.
Nautical. a carved full-length figure or bust built into the bow of a sailing ship.

Origin:
1755–65; figure + head

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
figurehead (ˈfɪɡəˌhɛd)
 
n
1.  a person nominally having a prominent position, but no real authority
2.  a carved bust or full-length figure at the upper end of the stems of some sailing vessels

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

figurehead
1765, from figure + head. Originally the ornament on the bow of a ship; sense of "leader without real authority" is first attested 1883.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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