Origin of dummy

1590–1600; 1915–20, Americanism for def 20; dumb + -y3

Usage note

See dumb.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dummy

British Dictionary definitions for dummy

dummy

/ (ˈdʌmɪ) /

noun plural -mies

verb -mies, -mying or -mied

to prepare a dummy of (a proposed book, page, etc)
Also: sell someone a dummy sport to use a dummy pass in order to trick (an opponent)

Word Origin for dummy

C16: see dumb, -y ³
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

Word Origin and History for dummy

dummy


n.

1590s, "mute person," from dumb (adj.) + -y (3). Extended by 1845 to "figure representing a person." Used in card games (originally whist) since 1736. Meaning "dolt, blockhead" is from 1796.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for dummy

dummy


In a corporation, one who stands in for a real director or who serves as a nominal director during the organization of the corporation until the stockholders can elect directors.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.