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lay figure

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noun
a jointed model of the human body, usually of wood, from which artists work in the absence of a living model.
a similar figure used in shops to display costumes.
a person of no importance, individuality, distinction, etc.; nonentity.
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Origin of lay figure

1785–95; lay, extracted from obsolete layman<Dutch leeman, variant of ledenman, equivalent to leden- (combining form of lid limb, cognate with Old English, Middle English lith) + manman)
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How to use lay figure in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for lay figure

lay figure

noun
an artist's jointed dummy, used in place of a live model, esp for studying effects of drapery
a person considered to be subservient or unimportant

Word Origin for lay figure

C18: from obsolete layman, from Dutch leeman, literally: joint-man
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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