American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A carved figure on the prow of a ship.
- n. A person given a position of nominal leadership but having no actual authority.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An ornamental figure, as a statue or bust, on the projecting part of the head of a ship, over the cutwater and immediately under the bowsprit. If the vessel's name is that of a person, object, etc., which can be represented directly or emblematically by a figure, such a figure is usually placed at the head of the vessel; thus, the Columbus would have a bust or statue of Columbus for a figurehead, the Lion would have the figure of a lion, the Britannia a statue or bust of the conventional Britannia. When no figure is used, the head is often finished off as a scroll-head or a fiddle-head (see these terms), which are not strictly figureheads.
- n. Figuratively, a person put forward to represent or to appear to act for others, without having any real authority or responsibility.
- n. nautical A carved figure on the prow of a sailing ship.
- n. by extension Someone in a nominal position of leadership who has no actual power; a front or front man.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Naut.) The figure, statue, or bust, on the prow of a ship.
- n. A person who allows his name to be used to give standing to enterprises in which he has no responsible interest or duties; a nominal, but not real, head or chief.
- n. a person used as a cover for some questionable activity
- n. figure on the bow of some sailing vessels
“The word "figurehead" ran in Poppaelia's mind but he did not voice it.”
“Good or evil, competent or inept, any leader or figurehead is welcome to offer assistance at this point.”
“Clinton, clearly more than a figurehead, is chairman, guiding spirit, and the big gun strategically deployed for publicity and persuasion.”
“The schooner was called Le Carcajou—the Wolverine—and her figurehead was a carving of the beast, mouth agape and fangs bared, claws ready to strike.”
“The figurehead was a bull, with a flower on his brow and gilded horns.”
“Her stern was adorned with flowers, and in the arms of the figurehead was a large bouquet.”
“Experts say North Korea, hit by sanctions punishing it for its nuclear weapons programme, could adopt a collective leadership when Kim dies with his son identified as figurehead leader but real power held by a group of officials from the ruling Workers 'Party and the military.”
“In the event Kim Jong-il dies suddenly, his son, by then identified as figurehead leader, would be surrounded by close family confidantes who have been appointed to senior positions in the Workers 'Party and military in recent months.”
“Gradually the power of the monarchy in England was reduced to that of figurehead, which is all it is today.”
“A figurehead will be the Pres and he who pulled his strings and funded his ascension will be our de facto King.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘figurehead’.
Ship builders' terms, from stem to stern (these words aren't on the list).
An extensive list I have been working on for quite some time. Feel free to add more of the kind if you miss any.
figuratively named things with head
Nice ambient words from the movie. (With apologies to Patrick O'Brian.) Aaaah, life at sea...aboard a hulk of the British navy in 1805...
List of items never for sale on craigslist.
Should you find one of these for sale, let us know. We'll scare you up a coupon for a free day at a gym or something.
Words as I learn them.
being items related to boats, ships, sailing, nautical and naval lore &c.
Common words or phrases of nautical origin that have taken on different or metaphorical meanings. Chained_bear and I tossed a coin over who would make the list. I won (or lost, depending on how you...
scuttlebutt, taken aback, brass monkey, boot camp, clean bill of health, three sheets to t..., the devil to pay, between the devil..., by and large, the whole nine yards, mind your ps and qs, slush fund and 116 more...
"Fornication" is not equal to "formication".
Words with funny meaning, spelling or both.
A sort of stuffie of words/phrases that include "head"
head of cattle, out of one's head, head of the stairs, come to a head, head of steam, head of the page, win by a head, head taller, headway, fountainhead, heads or tails, hit the nail on t... and 143 more...
Looking for tweets for figurehead.