marionette

Use the noun marionette to describe a puppet that's manipulated with strings from above a stage. You might see a marionette show at a child's birthday party.

A marionette is a very specific kind of puppet, one that's operated with sticks and wires or strings that move its arms, legs, and head in a nearly lifelike way. Marionettes have been around for centuries, at least since the ancient Greeks used them around 500 BC. The word marionette means "little little Mary" in French, a reference to one of the earliest known marionette characters, a puppet version of the Virgin Mary.

Definitions of marionette
  1. noun
    a small figure of a person operated from above with strings by a puppeteer
    synonyms: puppet
    see moresee less
    type of:
    figure
    a model of a bodily form (especially of a person)
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