1A nominal leader or head without real power.
- The highest official is the prime minister, and the president is a figurehead with no real power.
- We don't want bosses, figureheads or exalted leaders.
- If the argument is that the sovereign is largely a figurehead with little real possibility of doing harm, then let's pick one of our own.
titular head, nominal leader, leader in name only, front man, cipher, token, mouthpiece, puppet, instrument
2A carving, typically a bust or a full-length figure, set at the prow of an old-fashioned sailing ship.
- The incomers were principally craftsmen, carving ships' figureheads and occasional portrait busts.
- She reached the anchored ship and recognized the figurehead upon its prow.
- Some boats are shown with cabins, prows and figureheads and some carry animals.
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