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[puhp-it] /ˈpʌp ɪt/
an artificial figure representing a human being or an animal, manipulated by the hand, rods, wires, etc., as on a miniature stage.
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
Related forms
puppetlike, adjective
2. pawn, figurehead, instrument. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for puppet
  • 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 intentions.
  • But slowly it has turned into a puppet show for far left propaganda.
  • From puppet reenactments to modern sports websites.
  • Or more generally, whether or not the government is widely perceived by its people as being a western puppet.
  • puppet theater performances are held several times a week, and pony rides are available every weekend.
  • But now the president has his own puppet to play with.
  • One group was shown that when you pressed one lever, the duck appeared and when you pressed the other, the puppet popped up.
  • Seriously, they could populate their own puppet show.
British Dictionary definitions for puppet


  1. 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
  2. (as modifier) a puppet theatre
  1. a person, group, state, etc, that appears independent but is in fact controlled by another
  2. (as modifier) a puppet government
Word Origin
C16 popet, perhaps from Old French poupette little doll, ultimately from Latin pūpa girl, doll
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 puppet
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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