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[mar-ee-uh-net] /ˌmær i əˈnɛt/
a puppet manipulated from above by strings attached to its jointed limbs.
Origin of marionette
1610-20; < French marionnette, equivalent to Marion (diminutive of Marie Mary) + -ette -ette Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for marionette
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His body was jerking like a puppet of a marionette display, actuated by unseen strings.

    The Drunkard Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • I should like to do so,” the marionette answered, “for it is our last meeting.

    Adventures in Toyland Edith King Hall
  • The marionette was on the point of filling his mouth a second time, when he heard a frightful roar directly under his feet.

  • She's wearing a pink dress and is just about as tall as a marionette.

  • Then looking about in search of help, he saw the marionette, whose head was out of the water, and signaled to him to come ashore.

  • How did anyone know we were going to have a marionette show?

  • The marionette stopped and looked around, but seeing no one, he went on.

  • Meanwhile, a boy behind him got up on the bench, and began to play the marionette.

    Cuore (Heart) Edmondo De Amicis
British Dictionary definitions for marionette


an articulated puppet or doll whose jointed limbs are moved by strings
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Marion, diminutive of Marie Mary + -ette
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 marionette

puppet worked by strings, c.1620, literally "little little Mary," from French marionette (16c.), diminutive of Old French mariole "figurine, idol, picture of the Virgin Mary," diminutive of Marie (see Mary).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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