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Origin of marionette

1610–20; < French marionnette, equivalent to Marion (diminutive of Marie Mary) + -ette -ette Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for marionette

dummy, moppet, manikin, doll, figurine, fantoccini

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Contemporary Examples of marionette

Historical Examples of marionette

British Dictionary definitions for marionette


  1. an articulated puppet or doll whose jointed limbs are moved by strings

Word Origin for marionette

C17: from French, from Marion, diminutive of Marie Mary + -ette
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 marionette

puppet worked by strings, c.1620, literally "little little Mary," from French marionette (16c.), diminutive of Old French mariole "figurine, idol, picture of the Virgin Mary," diminutive of Marie (see Mary).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper