V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. the head of an organization or institution by name only, having no real responsibility or authority; 2. carved figure on the bow of a ship

Synonyms: front, representative, mouthpiece, puppet

Antonyms: leader, boss

Tips: A figurehead is a person who represents a company and is a symbolic leader, only in title, not by power or authority. In politics, a party may use a candidate based on his or her ability to charm the people, while most of the true power remains with advisors or others. That candidate would be considered a figurehead. Constitutional monarchs and presidents in parliamentary democracies are other examples of figureheads.

Usage Examples:

The king was essentially a figurehead, with no real power. (front, mouthpiece)

The fearsome figureheads on Viking ships were used to intimidate enemies. (carved figures)

The CEO of the company is more of a figurehead, as all critical aspects of running the company have been delegated to others. (front, mouthpiece)

After her retirement, she continued to act as a figurehead for ther company. (representative)

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