Definition of effigy in English:


Line breaks: ef¦figy
Pronunciation: /ˈɛfɪdʒi

noun (plural effigies)

1A sculpture or model of a person: a tomb effigy of Eleanor of Aquitaine
More example sentences
  • The exhibition includes more than 300 objects including tapestries. jewellery, stained glass, tomb effigies and sculptures, as well as paintings and illuminated books.
  • The counterpart of the English and Scottish passion for painted portraits was an almost equal obsession with sculpted effigies on tombs.
  • My naive idea of a sculptor is someone who works with clay or other materials, or chisels away at a piece of stone to create figures, busts and statues, likenesses and effigies, that only they, with their huge talent, can create.
1.1A roughly made model of a person that is made in order to be damaged or destroyed as a protest: angry campaigners plan to burn an effigy of the social security minister
More example sentences
  • The protesters also burned an effigy of the House of Representatives Speaker.
  • The protestors burnt effigies representing the demons of inflation and privatisation.
  • One young graphic designer from Ennis had come to the protest with a life-size effigy of the prime minister.


mid 16th century: from Latin effigies, from effingere 'to fashion (artistically)', from ex- 'out' + fingere 'to shape'.


burn someone in effigy

Burn a model of a person as a protest: the minister was burned in effigy
More example sentences
  • In 1793 Tom Paine, the English author of the Rights of Man, which sought to justify the French Revolution, was burned in effigy in the Market Place.
  • As colonists' anger over the Stamp Act built, a tax official was burned in effigy from the limbs of an elm estimated to be 120 years old.
  • Figures representing the Mexican and US presidents were burned in effigy.

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