Definition of lay figure in English:

lay figure

Line breaks: lay fig¦ure
Pronunciation: /leɪˈfɪɡə


  • A dummy or jointed manikin of a human body used by artists, especially for arranging drapery on.
    More example sentences
    • Articulated wooden lay figures of the kinds sold by artists' suppliers were used for the bodies.
    • The monastic painter of course could not do otherwise, unless he used a lay figure (an articulated model).
    • A number of examples survive from the eighteenth century, including the articulated lay figure used by the sculptor Louis-François Roubiliac, which is in the Museum of London collections.


late 18th century: from obsolete layman, from Dutch leeman, from obsolete led, earlier form of lid 'joint'.

More definitions of lay figure

Definition of lay figure in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space