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dum·my / ˈdəmē/ • n. (pl. -mies) 1. a model or replica of a human being: a waxwork dummy. ∎  a figure used for displaying or fitting clothes: a tailor's dummy. ∎  a ventriloquist's doll. ∎  a person taking no real part or present only for appearances; a figurehead. ∎  Bridge the declarer's partner, whose cards are exposed on the table after the opening lead and played by the declarer. ∎  Bridge the exposed hand of the declarer's partner. ∎  an imaginary fourth player in whist: [as adj.] dummy whist. 2. an object designed to resemble and serve as a substitute for the real or usual one: tests using stuffed owls and wooden dummies | [as adj.] a dummy torpedo. ∎  an enterprise existing mainly on paper, set up to facilitate fraud: [mainly as adj.] an elaborate scheme of dummy invoices, and even a dummy corporation, designed to underprice products. ∎  a prototype or mock-up, esp. of a book or the layout of a page. ∎  a blank round of ammunition. ∎  [as adj.] Gram. denoting a word that has no semantic content but is used to maintain grammatical structure: a dummy subject, as in “it is” or “there are.” 3. inf. a stupid person. • v. (-mies, -mied) [tr.] create a prototype or mock-up of a book or page: officials dummied up a set of photos. PHRASAL VERBS: dummy up inf. keep quiet; give no information.

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DUMMY. In GRAMMAR, an item that has little or no meaning but fills an obligatory position: (1) Prop it, which functions as subject with expressions of time (It's late), distance (It's a long way to Tipperary), and weather (It's raining); anticipatory it, which functions as subject (It's a pity that you're not here) or object (I find it hard to understand what's meant) when the subject or object of a clause is moved to a later position in the sentence, and is the subject in CLEFT SENTENCES (It was Peter who had an accident); (2) Existential there, which functions as subject in an existential sentence (There's nobody at the door). (3) The dummy auxiliary do, which is introduced, in the absence of any other auxiliary, to form questions (Do you know them?). See ANTICIPATORY IT.

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Dummy ★★ 2002 (R)

Sappy farce/latent coming-of-ager about a man and his dummy. Shy outsider Steven (Brody), nearly 30 and still living at home with his parents, embarks on his dream career in ventriloquism. His wooden buddy, along with high-school friend Fanny (Jovovich), give Steven the confidence to woo his pretty unemployment counselor Lorena (Farmiga). Ranges from genuinely sweet to annoyingly cloying. Despite a decent turn from Oscar-winner Brody, who did all his own ventriloquism, lovable schmuck routine wears thin rather quickly. Supports are uniformly strong. 90m/C VHS, DVD . US Adrien Brody, Milla Jovovich, Illeana Douglas, Vera Farmiga, Jessica Walter, Ron Leibman, Jared Harris; D: Greg Pritkin; W: Greg Pritkin; C: Horacio Marquinez; M: Paul Wallfisch.

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dummy dumb person XVI; imaginary player at whist, etc. XVIII; dolt XVIII; counterfeit or substituted article XIX. orig. Sc. dummie, with var. dumbie, f. DUMB + -Y 2.

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DUMMY

Sham; make-believe; pretended; imitation. Person who serves in place of another, or who serves until the proper person is named or available to take hisplace (e.g., dummy corporate directors; dummy owners of real estate).