Part of speech: noun
Origin: Latin, 16th century
A dummy of a disliked person or object
A likeness of a person’s appearance on a monument, usually in sculpture form
Examples of Effigy in a sentence
"The rival high schools had a tradition of burning each other’s mascots in effigy before the game. "
"They erected an effigy of the first governor outside of the state house. "
Popularity Over Time
You’re likely most familiar with the term “in effigy” to describe the ceremony of destroying a representation of a hated figure. But effigy can also be used as a term for any sort of monument that is a likeness of someone. The negative connotation has taken over, so be prepared for strange looks if you want to show off the effigy of your great-grandfather.
Did you Know?
Effigy can be traced back to the Latin verb “fingere,” which means to shape something. An effigy is a dummy or a sculpture, but there are other words that come from “fingere.” Fiction, figments, and figures all share the same shapely root.