Meaning of effigy in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɛfɪdʒi/

See synonyms for effigy

Translate effigy into Spanish

nounplural noun effigies

  • 1A sculpture or model of a person.

    ‘a tomb effigy of Eleanor of Aquitaine’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The grand effigies that typify civic sculpture invariably commemorate great statesmen, founding fathers or political icons.’
    • ‘It is ironic that his tomb effigy should show him brandishing an unsheathed sword.’
    • ‘The effigy on her tomb in the abbey shows her beauty and is remarkable for its attention to detail.’
    • ‘The tomb effigy, the memorial portrait, and the death mask approach a condition of perfect substitutability for the irrevocably absent object, the once-living body.’
    • ‘Imbued with all of Carpeaux's desire to create a monumental effigy, this bust reveals much of his personal attachment to Napoleon.’
    • ‘There are late medieval sculpted monuments in the cathedral, as well as the altar tomb effigy of Bishop Wellesley who died in 1539.’
    • ‘Perched atop a rocky pedestal sits a demonic looking clay statue, an effigy of the devil; complete with real rams horns and a human-hair goatee beard.’
    statue, statuette, carving, sculpture, graven image, model, dummy, figure, figurine, guy
    View synonyms
    1. 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The police dutifully later detained student protesters for burning effigies of her and even went so far as to arrest a street cartoonist for drawing unflattering caricatures of the president.’
      • ‘I do, however, recall seeing on television protestors burning effigies and flags.’
      • ‘The protesters separately burned the effigies of top local officials and senior legislators they blamed for obstructing their interests.’
      • ‘Around him, protesters burned effigies of the once revered king, chanting for him to be hanged as they began to move towards the heavily guarded royal palace.’
      • ‘Tempers are flaring in both countries, with protesters burning effigies of each other's leaders.’
      • ‘The twin sons enthusiastically joined the protesters, carrying posters and burning effigies of the state leaders.’
      • ‘Some of the protesters burnt an effigy of the Health Minister.’
      • ‘A university student was sentenced on Wednesday to five months in jail for burning an effigy of the President during a protest march last year.’
      • ‘We will burn effigies to voice our protest.’
      • ‘Gagging the mouth, blindfolding and burning effigies are some of the usual forms of protest.’
      • ‘After the public procession, the effigy is buried, destroyed, or abandoned in the forest.’
      • ‘On New Year's, festivities include fireworks and the burning of effigies (representations of disliked people), made by stuffing old clothes.’


    burn someone in effigy
    • Burn a model of a person as a protest.

      ‘the minister was burned in effigy’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Guy Fawkes, as you probably already know, is the 17th century Roman Catholic who still gets burned in effigy all over England each and every autumn.’
      • ‘He was burned in effigy outside one English pub and spent most of the following season enduring vilification from crowds at league grounds up and down the country.’


Mid 16th century from Latin effigies, from effingere ‘to fashion (artistically)’, from ex- ‘out’ + fingere ‘to shape’.