an artificial figure representing a human being or an animal, manipulated by the hand, rods, wires, etc., as on a miniature stage. Compare hand puppet, marionette.
a person, group, government, etc., whose actions are prompted and controlled by another or others.
a small doll.
Machinery, poppethead.

1350–1400; earlier poppet, Middle English popet, apparently alteration of Middle Low German poppe doll < Late Latin puppa, Latin pūpa doll; see -et

puppetlike, adjective

2. pawn, figurehead, instrument.
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World English Dictionary
puppet (ˈpʌpɪt)
1.  a.  a small doll or figure of a person or animal moved by strings attached to its limbs or by the hand inserted in its cloth body
 b.  (as modifier): a puppet theatre
2.  a.  a person, group, state, etc, that appears independent but is in fact controlled by another
 b.  (as modifier): a puppet government
[C16 popet, perhaps from Old French poupette little doll, ultimately from Latin pūpa girl, doll]

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

1528 (implied in puppetry), from O.Fr. poupette, dim. of poupée "doll" (13c.), from V.L. *puppa, from L. pupa "girl, doll" (see pupil (1)). Metaphoric extension to "person whose actions are manipulated by another" first recorded 1550. Puppeteer is attested from 1930.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The team decided it was best to build a puppet that could be manipulated from
  beneath using control rods.
Using the puppet, tell the students that they will be meeting a new friend.
If you fall for this, you will be a puppet in the hands of those with sinister
But slowly it has turned into a puppet show for far left propaganda.
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