n. pl. dum·mies
1. An imitation of a real or original object, intended to be used as a practical substitute.
a. A mannequin used in displaying clothes.
b. A figure of a person or an animal manipulated by a ventriloquist.
c. A stuffed or pasteboard figure used as a target.
d. Football A heavy stuffed cylindrical bag used for blocking and tackling practice.
3. A stupid person; a dolt.
4. A silent or taciturn person.
a. Law A person or entity that is the named party to a transaction but that acts on behalf of another concealed person or entity. Also called nominee, straw person.
b. A person or an agency secretly in the service of another.
a. One of a set of model pages with text and illustrations pasted into place to direct the printer. Also called dummy page.
b. A set of bound blank pages used as a model to show the size and general appearance of a book being published.
a. The partner in bridge who exposes their hand to be played by the declarer.
b. The hand thus exposed.
8. Computers A character or other piece of information entered into a computer only to meet prescribed conditions, such as word length, and having no effect on operations.
1. Simulating or replacing something but lacking its function: a dummy pocket; a dummy medication in a study.
2. Serving as a front or cover for another: a dummy corporation.
3. Games Played with a dummy.
4. Computers Entered or provided only to meet prescribed conditions: a dummy variable.
tr.v. dum·mied, dum·my·ing, dum·miesPhrasal Verb:
To make a model of (a publication or page).
To keep silent; give no information.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.