or man·i·kin



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

Origin of mannequin

1560–70; < French < Dutch; see manikin
Can be confusedmanikin mannequin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mannequin

Contemporary Examples of mannequin

Historical Examples of mannequin

  • Madame colours, looks resentful, Mademoiselle busies herself with orders to a mannequin.

    In Vanity Fair

    Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd

  • If it does not satisfy the mannequin demand for "beauty" it at least refuses to accept margarine substitutes.


    Ezra Pound

  • She found herself moving slowly around the study, with the gait of a mannequin in a dress-maker's show-room.

    Zuleika Dobson

    Max Beerbohm

  • The glide seems to be the ideal at which the modern woman aims in her walk, and the mannequin glides with every exaggeration.

  • He's too good looking in an unassuming masculine way to dress so neatly—it makes him look like a mannequin.

    Measure for a Loner

    James Judson Harmon

British Dictionary definitions for mannequin



a woman who wears the clothes displayed at a fashion show; model
a life-size dummy of the human body used to fit or display clothes
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 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