from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A carved figure on the prow of a sailing ship.
- n. Someone in a nominal position of leadership who has no actual power; a front or front man.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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.
from The 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.
- n. Figuratively, a person put forward to represent or to appear to act for others, without having any real authority or responsibility.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a person used as a cover for some questionable activity
- n. figure on the bow of some sailing vessels
Sorry, no etymologies found.
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.