figure[fig′yər, -yo̵or; often, esp. for v., & Brit always, fig′ər]
- The definition of a figure is a number, a certain amount of money, a person's body shape or a notable person with an important or unique characteristic.
- An example of a figure is the number 2.
- An example of a figure is when you ask for a price for an item.
- An example of a figure is a stocky person or a think person.
- An example of a figure is a person you see far off in the distance who is in shadows.
- An example of a figure is someone who stands in for a father.
- To figure is defined as to play an important role in something.
An example of figure is how a fact about global warming is important to the debate.
The number 2 is a figure.
- the outline or shape of something; form
- the shape of the human body; human form
- a person, esp. one seen or thought of in a specified way: a great social figure
- a likeness or representation of a person or thing
- an illustration; diagram; picture; drawing
- an artistic design in fabrics, etc.; pattern
- the symbol for a number: the figure 5
- calculation with such symbols; arithmetic: very good at figures
- a sum of money
- Dancing, Skating a series or pattern of steps or movements
- Geom. a surface or space bounded on all sides by lines or planes
- Logic the form of a syllogism with reference to the use of the middle term as variously the subject or the predicate of the premises
- Music a series of consecutive tones or chords forming a distinct group which with other similar groups completes a phrase or theme; motif
- Rhetoric figure of speech
Origin of figureMiddle English ; from Old French ; from Classical Latin figura ; from fingere, to form, shape: see dough
transitive verbfigured, figuring
- to represent in definite form; give a shape to
- to represent mentally; imagine
- to ornament with a design
- to compute with figures
- Informal to believe; consider; decide
- Music to indicate chords for (the bass) by writing the appropriate figures next to the notes
Origin of figureME figuren < the n.
- to appear, often prominently: with in: you figure in all my dreams
- to be a causal factor: with in: poor food figured in his ill health
- to do arithmetic
- ☆ Informal to consider; calculate
- ☆ Informal to be just as expected or as anticipated
- to count on; rely on
- to consider as part of a scheme or project; plan on
- to solve; compute
- to understand; reason out
- a. A written or printed symbol representing something other than a letter, especially a number.b. figures Mathematical calculations: good at figures.c. An amount represented in numbers: sold for a large figure.d. figures One of the digits specified as making up a larger number: a salary in the six figures.
- a. Mathematics A geometric form consisting of any combination of points, lines, or planes: A triangle is a plane figure.b. The outline, form, or silhouette of a thing: saw the figure of a cat in the window.c. The shape or form of a human body: a fashion model with an attractive figure.d. An indistinct object or shape: The figures in the mist turned out to be lampposts.
- A person, especially a well-known one: a famous historical figure.
- Impression or appearance made: cut a dashing figure at the reception.
- A person, animal, or object that symbolizes something.
- A pictorial or sculptural representation, especially of the human body.
- a. A diagram: drew a figure of the office layout.b. A design or pattern, as in a textile: silk with a paisley figure.c. An illustration printed from an engraved plate or block.
- a. A configuration or distinct group of steps in a dance.b. A pattern traced by a series of movements, as in ice skating.
- Music A brief melodic or harmonic unit often constituting the basis of a larger phrase or structure.
- Logic Any one of the forms that a syllogism can take, depending on the position of the middle term.
verbfig·ured, fig·ur·ing, fig·ures
- Mathematics To calculate with numbers: figured the sum to be nearly a million.
- To make a likeness of; depict.
- To adorn with a design or figures.
- Music a. To write a sequence of conventionalized numbers below or above (the bassline) to indicate harmony.b. To embellish with an ornamental pattern.
- a. To conclude, believe, or predict: I never figured that this would happen.b. To consider or regard: figured them as con artists.
- Mathematics To calculate; compute.
- a. To be or seem important or prominent: a key fact that figures in our understanding of what happened.b. To be pertinent or involved: His advice barely figured in my decision.
- Informal To seem reasonable or expected: “I found my keys in the sofa.” “Well, that figures, given that you were sitting there last night.”
Origin of figureMiddle English, from Old French, from Latin figūra; see dheigh- in Indo-European roots.
- A drawing or diagram conveying information.
- The representation of any form, as by drawing, painting, modelling, carving, embroidering, etc.; especially, a representation of the human body.
- a figure in bronze; a figure cut in marble
- A person or thing representing a certain consciousness.
- The appearance or impression made by the conduct or career of a person.
- He cut a sorry figure standing there in the rain.
- A human figure, which dress or corset must fit to; the shape of a human body.
- A numeral.
- A number.
- A shape.
- A visible pattern as in wood or cloth.
- The muslin was of a pretty figure.
- A dance figure, a complex dance move.
- A figure of speech.
- (logic) The form of a syllogism with respect to the relative position of the middle term.
- (astrology) A horoscope; the diagram of the aspects of the astrological houses.
- (music) Any short succession of notes, either as melody or as a group of chords, which produce a single complete and distinct impression.
- (music) A form of melody or accompaniment kept up through a strain or passage; a motif; a florid embellishment.
(third-person singular simple present figures, present participle figuring, simple past and past participle figured) (mainly US)
- To solve a mathematical problem.
- To come to understand.
- I can't figure if he's telling the truth or lying.
- (intransitive) To be reasonable.
- To enter, be a part of.
- To embellish with design; to adorn with figures.
- To represent by a metaphor; to signify or symbolize.
- (music) To write over or under the bass, as figures or other characters, in order to indicate the accompanying chords.
- (music) To embellish.
From Middle English figure, from Old French figure, from Latin figura (“form, shape, form of a word, a figure of speech, Late Latin a sketch, drawing”), from fingere (“to form, shape, mold, fashion”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeyǵʰ- (“to mold, shape, form, knead”). Cognate with Ancient Greek τεῖχος (teikhos), Sanskrit देग्धि (degdhi), Old English dāg (“dough”). More at dough.