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[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.
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 mannequins
  • Robots in this league are tested on their abilities to find mannequins trapped inside a three-story building that has collapsed.
  • Two polyester-clad cronies kibitz while mannequins gyrate in a storefront window in the background.
  • Poiret soon ditched the doll in favor of live mannequins.
  • Films from the era show how they used mannequins to determine how a bomb would affect clothing.
  • mannequins with military boots swing from lampposts, enacting the colonel's hanging.
  • mannequins with military boots swing from lampposts, enacting the colonel's hanging that the rebels seek.
  • In the family room, he inspected two mannequins-one bald, both in yellowed nineteenth-century dresses.
  • But you'll never see mannequins strutting her stuff down a runway.
  • The stage is decorated with headless mannequins dressed in suits and sports shirts.
  • Fortunately, the wounded soldiers are only lifelike mannequins.
British Dictionary definitions for mannequins


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 mannequins



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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