[ fan-tuh-chee-nee ]
See synonyms for fantoccini on
plural noun
  1. puppets or marionettes manipulated by strings, wires, or mechanical devices.

  2. puppet shows using these puppets.

Origin of fantoccini

First recorded in 1770–1780; from Italian, plural of fantoccino, diminutive of fantoccio “doll,” a derivative of fante “child, boy, servant,” by loss of unaccented first syllable from infante, from Latin īnfant-, stem of īnfāns; see origin at infant

Words Nearby fantoccini Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use fantoccini in a sentence

  • Such a prestidigitator as Signor fantoccini has only to say—Presto!

    Hearts and Masks | Harold MacGrath
  • Who ever knew the men of the republic shout like so many Italian fantoccini pulled by wires!

    The Wing-and-Wing | J. Fenimore Cooper
  • Sharp unexpected touches evoke humanity in the fantoccini of his wayward art.

  • This was an exhibition called the fantoccini, and far superior to any of the street performances which I have yet seen.

    Three Years in Europe | William Wells Brown
  • Many who would turn away in disgust from Mr. Punch, will stand for hours and look at the performances of the fantoccini.

    Three Years in Europe | William Wells Brown

British Dictionary definitions for fantoccini


/ (ˌfæntəˈtʃiːnɪ) /

pl n
  1. marionettes

  2. puppet shows in which they are used

Origin of fantoccini

C18: from Italian: little puppets, plural of fantoccino, from fantoccio puppet, from fante boy, from Latin infāns infant

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