Nearby words

  1. dumfries and galloway,
  2. dumfriesshire,
  3. dumka,
  4. dummelhead,
  5. dummkopf,
  6. dummy block,
  7. dummy head,
  8. dummy joint,
  9. dummy load,
  10. dummy run

Origin of dummy

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

Usage note

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

British Dictionary definitions for dummy up


/ (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 up



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 up


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.