lay figure definition by Webster's New World
- an artist's jointed model of the human form, on which drapery is arranged to get the proper effect
- a person who is a mere puppet or a nonentity
Origin: earlier layman ; from Dutch leeman ; from Middle Dutch led, limb, joint, akin to Old English lith, limb plush man, man
lay figure definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- See mannequin.
- A subservient or insignificant person.
Origin: From obsolete layman, from Dutch leeman, variant of ledenman : obsolete Dutch led, limb (from Middle Dutch lit) + man, man (from Middle Dutch; see manikin).