9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[man-i-kin] /ˈmæn ɪ kɪn/
a styled and three-dimensional representation of the human form used in window displays, as of clothing; dummy.
a wooden figure or model of the human figure used by tailors, dress designers, etc., for fitting or making clothes.
a person employed to wear clothing to be photographed or to be displayed before customers, buyers, etc.; a clothes model.
lay figure (def 1).
Also, manikin.
Origin of mannequin
1560-70; < French < Dutch; see manikin
Can be confused
manikin, mannequin. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mannequin
  • It becomes a kind of mannequin that's perfectly formed but has no life of its own.
  • Her first moments as a pretend mannequin come to life suggested an extraordinarily imaginative character.
  • The medal now hangs around the neck of a workshop mannequin sporting a silk polka-dot bra and matching high-cut brief.
  • Yet martial discipline can provide only a department-store mannequin version of reform.
  • When the mannequin finally resurfaced, far down current, it appeared to have been dragged violently along the rocks below.
  • Anybody who has ever tried to get a military boot onto a rigid mannequin knows what is going on here.
  • He grasps an uncooperative mannequin in a bear hug and wrestles it into position.
  • Becomes mannequin parts falling apart beneath cheap clothes.
  • With synchronous strokes of the stick, people's sense of self drifted into the mannequin.
  • Sato said, grimacing as she tugged the fabric tighter around the kimono-clad mannequin.
British Dictionary definitions for mannequin


a woman who wears the clothes displayed at a fashion show; model
a life-size dummy of the human body used to fit or display clothes
(arts) another name for lay figure
Word Origin
C18: via French from Dutch mannekenmanikin
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 mannequin

1902, "model to display clothes," from French mannequin (15c.), from Dutch manneken (see manikin). A French form of the same word that yielded manikin, and sometimes mannequin was used in English in a sense "artificial man" (especially in translations of Hugo). Originally of persons, in a sense where we might use "model."

A mannequin is a good-looking, admirably formed young lady, whose mission is to dress herself in her employer's latest "creations," and to impart to them the grace which only perfect forms can give. Her grammar may be bad, and her temper worse, but she must have the chic the Parisienne possesses, no matter whether she hails from the aristocratic Faubourg St. Germain or from the Faubourg Montmartre. ["The Bystander," Aug. 15, 1906]
Later (by 1939) of artificial model figures to display clothing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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