lay figure
noun Etymology: obsolete English layman lay figure, from Dutch leeman Date: 1795 1. a jointed model of the human body used by artists to show the disposition of drapery 2. a person so compliant as to be likened to a puppet

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lay figure — Figure Fig ure (f[i^]g [ u]r; 135), n. [F., figure, L. figura; akin to fingere to form, shape, feign. See {Feign}.] 1. The form of anything; shape; outline; appearance. [1913 Webster] Flowers have all exquisite figures. Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lay figure — Lay Lay, n. 1. That which lies or is laid or is conceived of as having been laid or placed in its position; a row; a stratum; a layer; as, a lay of stone or wood. Addison. [1913 Webster] A viol should have a lay of wire strings below. Bacon.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lay-figure — /lāˈfi gər/ noun 1. (earlier layˈman) a jointed model used by painters 2. A living person or a fictitious character lacking in individuality ORIGIN: Du leeman, from led (now lid) joint, and man man …   Useful english dictionary

  • lay figure — n. [earlier layman < Du leeman < MDu led, limb, joint, akin to OE lith, limb + man, man] 1. an artist s jointed model of the human form, on which drapery is arranged to get the proper effect 2. a person who is a mere puppet or a nonentity …   English World dictionary

  • lay figure — lay′ fig ure n. 1) fia a jointed model of the human body, usu. of wood, from which artists work in the absence of a living model; mannequin 2) a person of no importance, individuality, distinction, etc.; nonentity • Etymology: 1785–95; lay,… …   From formal English to slang

  • lay figure — 1. a jointed model of the human body, usually of wood, from which artists work in the absence of a living model. 2. a similar figure used in shops to display costumes. 3. a person of no importance, individuality, distinction, etc.; nonentity.… …   Universalium

  • lay figure — /ˈleɪ fɪgə/ (say lay figuh) noun 1. a jointed model of the human body, usually of wood, from which artists work in the absence of a living model. 2. a mere puppet or nonentity; a person of no importance. {replacing obsolete layman (from Dutch… …   Australian English dictionary

  • lay figure — n. 1 a dummy or jointed figure of a human body used by artists for arranging drapery on etc. 2 an unrealistic character in a novel etc. 3 a person lacking in individuality. Etymology: lay f. obs. layman f. Du. leeman f. obs. led joint …   Useful english dictionary

  • lay figure — Synonyms and related words: Charlie McCarthy, air brush, art paper, brush, bust, camera lucida, camera obscura, canvas, carving, chalk, charcoal, cipher, clay model, crayon, creature, doll, dolly, drawing paper, drawing pencil, drier, dud, dummy …   Moby Thesaurus

  • lay figure — n 1. artist s model, model, figure, figurine, puppet, doll; image, effigy. 2. mannequin, manikin, dummy, dressmaker s model. 3. nonentity, nobody, nothing, cipher, insignificancy, jackstraw, little fellow, Inf. little guy, man on the street, John …   A Note on the Style of the synonym finder

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