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 fingō (“to form, shape, mold, fashion”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeyǵʰ- (“to mold, shape, form, knead”). Cognate with Ancient Greek τεῖχος (teîkhos), Sanskrit देग्धि (degdhi), Old English dāg (“dough”). More at dough.
- IPA(key): /ˈfɪɡjɚ/ (GenAm)
- IPA(key): /ˈfɪɡə/ (RP)
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɪɡə(r)
- Hyphenation: fig‧ure
figure (plural figures)
- A drawing or diagram conveying information.
2004, Joshua Tree National Park 2004 Visitor Study:
- For example, while Figure 1 shows information for 516 visitor groups, Figure 3 presents data for 1,625 individuals. A note above each graph or table specifies the information illustrated. ... For example, although Joshua Tree NP visitors returned 525 questionnaires, Figure 1 shows data for only 516 respondents.
- 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 coin that bears the figure of an angel
- A person or thing representing a certain consciousness.
2013 June 28, Joris Luyendijk, “Our banks are out of control”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 3, page 21:
- Seeing the British establishment struggle with the financial sector is like watching an alcoholic […]. Until 2008 there was denial over what finance had become. When a series of bank failures made this impossible, there was widespread anger, leading to the public humiliation of symbolic figures.
- The appearance or impression made by the conduct or career of a person.
- He cut a sorry figure standing there in the rain.
- I made some figure there.
- gentlemen of the best figure in the county
- (obsolete) Distinguished appearance; magnificence; conspicuous representation; splendour; show.
- that he may live in figure and indulgence
- A human figure, which dress or corset must fit to; the shape of a human body.
1919, B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols, Searchlights on Health:
- The origin of the corset is lost in remote antiquity. The figures of the early Egyptian women show clearly an artificial shape of the waist produced by some style of corset.
- A numeral.
- A number.
1996, David Irving v. Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt:
- (i) in the 1966 edition of The Destruction of Dresden Irving contended that 135,000 were estimated authoritatively to have been killed and further contended that the documentation suggested a figure between 100,00 and 250,000;
- A shape.
- Francis Bacon
- Flowers have all exquisite figures.
- Francis Bacon
- A visible pattern as in wood or cloth.
- The muslin was of a pretty figure.
- A dance figure, a complex dance moveW.
- A figure of speech.
- to represent the imagination under the figure of a wing
- (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.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Johnson to this entry?)
- (music) Any short succession of notes, either as melody or as a group of chords, which produce a single complete and distinct impression.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Grove to this entry?)
- (music) A form of melody or accompaniment kept up through a strain or passage; a motif; a florid embellishment.
- 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.
- (transitive) To enter, be a part of.
- (obsolete) To represent by a figure, as to form or mould; to make an image of, either palpable or ideal; also, to fashion into a determinate form; to shape.
- If love, alas! be pain I bear, / No thought can figure, and no tongue declare.
- To embellish with design; to adorn with figures.
- The vaulty top of heaven / Figured quite o'er with burning meteors.
- (obsolete) To indicate by numerals.
- As through a crystal glass the figured hours are seen.
- To represent by a metaphor; to signify or symbolize.
- whose white vestments figure innocence
- (obsolete) To prefigure; to foreshow.
- In this the heaven figures some event.
- (music) To write over or under the bass, as figures or other characters, in order to indicate the accompanying chords.
- (music) To embellish.
- figure in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- figure in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
figure f (plural figures)
- “figure” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).