or man·ni·kin

See more synonyms for manikin on

Origin of manikin

1560–70; < Dutch manneken, equivalent to man man1 + -ken -kin. See mannequin
Can be confusedmanikin mannequin


or man·i·kin

  1. a styled and three-dimensional representation of the human form used in window displays, as of clothing; dummy.
  2. a wooden figure or model of the human figure used by tailors, dress designers, etc., for fitting or making clothes.
  3. a person employed to wear clothing to be photographed or to be displayed before customers, buyers, etc.; a clothes model.
  4. lay figure(def 1).

Origin of mannequin

1560–70; < French < Dutch; see manikin
Can be confusedmanikin mannequin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for manikin

marionette, dummy, mannequin, figure, doll

Examples from the Web for manikin

Historical Examples of manikin

British Dictionary definitions for manikin


mannikin formerly manakin

  1. a little man; dwarf or child
    1. an anatomical model of the body or a part of the body, esp for use in medical or art instruction
    2. Also called: phantoman anatomical model of a fully developed fetus, for use in teaching midwifery or obstetrics
  2. variant spellings of mannequin

Word Origin for manikin

C17: from Dutch manneken, diminutive of man


  1. a woman who wears the clothes displayed at a fashion show; model
  2. a life-size dummy of the human body used to fit or display clothes
  3. arts another name for lay figure

Word Origin for mannequin

C18: via French from Dutch manneken manikin
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 manikin

1560s, "jointed figure used by artists," from Dutch manneken, literally "little man," diminutive of Middle Dutch man (see man (n.)). Sense and spelling often blended with mannequin.



1902, "model to display clothes," from French mannequin (15c.), from Dutch manneken (see manikin). A French form of the same word that yielded manikin, and sometimes mannequin was used in English in a sense "artificial man" (especially in translations of Hugo). Originally of persons, in a sense where we might use "model."

A mannequin is a good-looking, admirably formed young lady, whose mission is to dress herself in her employer's latest "creations," and to impart to them the grace which only perfect forms can give. Her grammar may be bad, and her temper worse, but she must have the chic the Parisienne possesses, no matter whether she hails from the aristocratic Faubourg St. Germain or from the Faubourg Montmartre. ["The Bystander," Aug. 15, 1906]

Later (by 1939) of artificial model figures to display clothing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper