a puppet manipulated from above by strings attached to its jointed limbs.

1610–20; < French marionnette, equivalent to Marion (diminutive of Marie Mary) + -ette -ette Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
marionette (ˌmærɪəˈnɛt)
an articulated puppet or doll whose jointed limbs are moved by strings
[C17: from French, from Marion, diminutive of Marie Mary + -ette]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

puppet worked by strings, c.1620, lit. "little little Mary," from Fr. marionette, dim. of Marion, dim. of Marie "Mary."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Its crooked arm and keys suggest a bemedaled marionette on parade, while its too-thin roll of paper hints at a pea-size brain.
He had at once begun to take it apart painstakingly, obsessively, as always when a marionette developed some flaw.
Trained educators work with the marionette and address probing questions openly and with sensitivity.
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