- The definition of figurative is something that is not to be interpreted literally, but that instead uses a symbol or a likeness.
An example of figurative language is when you say that you are so hungry, you could eat a horse.
- representing by means of a figure, symbol, or likeness
- having to do with figure drawing, painting, etc.
- not in its original, usual, literal, or exact sense; representing one concept in terms of another that may be thought of as analogous with it; metaphoric: in “screaming headlines,” the word “screaming” is a figurative use
- containing figures of speech
Origin: Middle English ; from Old French figuratif ; from Late Latin figurativus ; from Classical Latin figuratus, past participle of figurare, to form, fashion ; from figura, figure
- figuratively adverb
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- a. Based on or making use of figures of speech; metaphorical: figurative language.b. Containing many figures of speech; ornate.
- Represented by a figure or resemblance; symbolic or emblematic.
- Of or relating to artistic representation by means of animal or human figures.
- figˈu·ra·tive·ly adverb
- figˈu·ra·tive·ness noun