Every week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!

The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to board games:


Meeple refers to tokens used to represent people, animals, or creatures in board games. Most commonly they are wooden, and the typical shape is like a person. However, they are also found in a huge range of animals or other shapes as well as a range of materials.

The Meeple has become a ubiquitous symbol of board games. Gamers can find many items to decorate their game spaces with Meeple art or objects. Meeples come in a huge range of games and serve a range of purposes within games. Some examples of their application in games can include: marking the players location on the board, as a score tracker, to mark and effect on the board, or claiming a tile.

Wooden Meeples from Fire in the Library


The word Meeple come from the blending of “my people” in reference to the game Carcassonne. The term Meeple emerged in 2000, and credited to Alison Hansel for creating the word. In 2015 Meeple was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Dragoon Meeples
Metal Dragon Meeples from Dragoon

A Few Examples of Meeples in Games:

  • Fire in the Library: “typical” meeples
  • Dragoon: Metal or plastic dragons
  • Carcassonne: Where it all began
  • King Domino
  • Fire Tower: Rising Flames Fire Hawks (Featured in cover photo above)

So there you have it! Our guide to meeples. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or just starting out, we hope this article has helped introduce you to the wonderful world of meeples and shown you how much fun they can add to your gameplay experience. Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts on our favorite gaming token! Do you prefer wooden ones, like most gamers? Or do you like something a little more flashy and eye-catching? We want to hear from you!

You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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By Linda Wrobel

Managing Editor: Board Games Mother, Educator, and Board Game Editor.

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