Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n.pl. Puppets animated by moving wires or mechanical means.
  • n.pl. A show using such puppets.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Puppets caused to perform dramatic scenes by means of machinery.
  • n. The puppet shows in which they are used.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.pl. Puppets caused to perform evolutions or dramatic scenes by means of machinery; also, the representations in which they are used.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Puppets which are made to go through evolutions by means of concealed wires or strings.
  • Dramatic representations in which puppets are substituted for human performers.

Etymologies

Italian, pl. of fantoccino, diminutive of fantoccio, puppet, augmentative of fante, child, short for infante, from Latin īnfāns, īnfant-, infant; see infant.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Italian, diminutive from fante child. (Wiktionary)

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