Definitions for figureˈfɪg yər; esp. Brit. ˈfɪg ər

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word figure

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

fig•ureˈfɪg yər; esp. Brit. ˈfɪg ər(n.; v.)-ured, -ur•ing.

  1. (n.)a numerical symbol, esp. an Arabic numeral.

    Category: Math

  2. an amount or value expressed in numbers.

    Category: Math

  3. figures, the use of numbers in calculating; arithmetic.

  4. a written symbol other than a letter.

  5. the form or shape of something; outline.

  6. the bodily form or frame:

    a graceful figure.

  7. a character or personage, esp. one of distinction:

    a well-known figure in society.

  8. the appearance or impression made by a person or sometimes a thing.

  9. a representation, pictorial or sculptured, esp. of the human form.

    Category: Fine Arts

  10. an emblem, type, or symbol:

    The dove is a figure of peace.

  11. a figure of speech.

    Category: Rhetoric

  12. a textural pattern, as in cloth or wood.

    Category: Fine Arts

  13. a distinct movement or division of a dance.

    Category: Music and Dance

  14. a movement or series of movements in skating.

    Category: Sport

  15. a short succession of musical notes, as either a melody or a group of chords, that produces a single complete and distinct impression.

    Category: Music and Dance

  16. a combination of geometric elements disposed in a plane shape or solid form, as a circle, polygon, or sphere.

    Category: Math

  17. Logic. the form of a categorical syllogism with respect to the relative position of the middle term.

    Category: Philosphy

  18. (v.t.)to compute or calculate (often fol. by up):

    to figure up a total.

  19. to express in figures.

  20. to mark or adorn with a design or pattern.

    Category: Fine Arts

  21. to represent or express by a figure of speech.

  22. to represent by a pictorial or sculptured figure, a diagram, or the like; picture or depict; trace (an outline, silhouette, etc.).

    Category: Fine Arts

  23. Informal. to conclude, judge, reason, or think:

    I figured that you wanted me to stay.

    Category: Informal

  24. (v.i.)to compute or work with numerical figures.

    Category: Math

  25. to be or appear:

    Your name figures importantly in my report.

  26. Informal. to be logical, expected, or reasonable: It figures: when I have the time to travel, I don't have the money.

    Category: Informal

  27. figure on, to count or rely on. to take into consideration; plan on.

    Category: Verb Phrase, Informal

  28. figure out, to understand; solve. to calculate; compute.

    Category: Verb Phrase, Informal

Origin of figure:

1175–1225; ME < OF < L figūra shape, trope, der. of fingere to shape


Princeton's WordNet

  1. figure, fig(noun)

    a diagram or picture illustrating textual material

    "the area covered can be seen from Figure 2"

  2. human body, physical body, material body, soma, build, figure, physique, anatomy, shape, bod, chassis, frame, form, flesh(noun)

    alternative names for the body of a human being

    "Leonardo studied the human body"; "he has a strong physique"; "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak"

  3. digit, figure(noun)

    one of the elements that collectively form a system of numeration

    "0 and 1 are digits"

  4. figure(noun)

    a model of a bodily form (especially of a person)

    "he made a figure of Santa Claus"

  5. name, figure, public figure(noun)

    a well-known or notable person

    "they studied all the great names in the history of France"; "she is an important figure in modern music"

  6. figure(noun)

    a combination of points and lines and planes that form a visible palpable shape

  7. figure(noun)

    an amount of money expressed numerically

    "a figure of $17 was suggested"

  8. figure(noun)

    the impression produced by a person

    "he cut a fine figure"; "a heroic figure"

  9. number, figure(noun)

    the property possessed by a sum or total or indefinite quantity of units or individuals

    "he had a number of chores to do"; "the number of parameters is small"; "the figure was about a thousand"

  10. trope, figure of speech, figure, image(noun)

    language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense

  11. figure(noun)

    a unitary percept having structure and coherence that is the object of attention and that stands out against a ground

  12. design, pattern, figure(noun)

    a decorative or artistic work

    "the coach had a design on the doors"

  13. figure(verb)

    a predetermined set of movements in dancing or skating

    "she made the best score on compulsory figures"

  14. calculate, estimate, reckon, count on, figure, forecast(verb)

    judge to be probable

  15. figure, enter(verb)

    be or play a part of or in

    "Elections figure prominently in every government program"; "How do the elections figure in the current pattern of internal politics?"

  16. visualize, visualise, envision, project, fancy, see, figure, picture, image(verb)

    imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind

    "I can't see him on horseback!"; "I can see what will happen"; "I can see a risk in this strategy"

  17. calculate, cipher, cypher, compute, work out, reckon, figure(verb)

    make a mathematical calculation or computation

  18. figure(verb)


    "He didn't figure her"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. figure(verb)ˈfɪg yər; esp. Brit. ˈfɪg ər

    to think sth is true or will happen

    I figured (that) he was too embarrassed to show up.

  2. figureˈfɪg yər; esp. Brit. ˈfɪg ər

    indicates you think sth is likely or not surprising

    "He's not here." "Yeah, that figures - he hates these events."

  3. figure(noun)ˈfɪg yər; esp. Brit. ˈfɪg ər

    a calculated number or amount; = number

    What are the figures for sales last year?

  4. figureˈfɪg yər; esp. Brit. ˈfɪg ər

    to say how much sth will cost

  5. figureˈfɪg yər; esp. Brit. ˈfɪg ər

    a numeral

    Write the number in words and figures.

  6. figureˈfɪg yər; esp. Brit. ˈfɪg ər

    a person or type of person

    In the dark she saw a figure coming towards her.; important figures in American history

  7. figureˈfɪg yər; esp. Brit. ˈfɪg ər

    sb's body shape

    a youthful figure

  8. figureˈfɪg yər; esp. Brit. ˈfɪg ər

    (in math) a shape

    a 2D figure

  9. figureˈfɪg yər; esp. Brit. ˈfɪg ər

    a diagram showing information

    Refer to figure 3 on page 56.

  10. figureˈfɪg yər; esp. Brit. ˈfɪg ər

    a phrase that uses figurative language

    To say you feel "like a fish out of water" is a figure of speech.


  1. figure(Noun)

    A drawing or representation conveying information.

  2. figure(Noun)

    A person or thing representing a certain consciousness.

  3. figure(Noun)

    A human figure, which dress or corset must fit to; the shape of human body.

  4. figure(Noun)

    A numeral.

  5. figure(Noun)

    A number.

  6. figure(Noun)

    A shape.

  7. figure(Noun)

    A visible pattern as in wood or cloth.

  8. figure(Noun)

    A dance figure.

  9. figure(Noun)

    A figure of speech.

  10. figure(Verb)

    To solve a mathematical problem.

  11. figure(Verb)

    To come to understand.

    I can't figure if he's telling the truth or lying.

  12. figure(Verb)

    to be reasonable

  13. figure(Verb)

    to enter, be a part of

  14. Origin: From figure, from figure, from figura, from fingere

Webster Dictionary

  1. Figure(noun)

    the form of anything; shape; outline; appearance

  2. Figure(noun)

    the representation of any form, as by drawing, painting, modeling, carving, embroidering, etc.; especially, a representation of the human body; as, a figure in bronze; a figure cut in marble

  3. Figure(noun)

    a pattern in cloth, paper, or other manufactured article; a design wrought out in a fabric; as, the muslin was of a pretty figure

  4. Figure(noun)

    a diagram or drawing; made to represent a magnitude or the relation of two or more magnitudes; a surface or space inclosed on all sides; -- called superficial when inclosed by lines, and solid when inclosed by surface; any arrangement made up of points, lines, angles, surfaces, etc

  5. Figure(noun)

    the appearance or impression made by the conduct or carrer of a person; as, a sorry figure

  6. Figure(noun)

    distinguished appearance; magnificence; conspicuous representation; splendor; show

  7. Figure(noun)

    a character or symbol representing a number; a numeral; a digit; as, 1, 2,3, etc

  8. Figure(noun)

    value, as expressed in numbers; price; as, the goods are estimated or sold at a low figure

  9. Figure(noun)

    a person, thing, or action, conceived of as analogous to another person, thing, or action, of which it thus becomes a type or representative

  10. Figure(noun)

    a mode of expressing abstract or immaterial ideas by words which suggest pictures or images from the physical world; pictorial language; a trope; hence, any deviation from the plainest form of statement

  11. Figure(noun)

    the form of a syllogism with respect to the relative position of the middle term

  12. Figure(noun)

    any one of the several regular steps or movements made by a dancer

  13. Figure(noun)

    a horoscope; the diagram of the aspects of the astrological houses

  14. Figure(noun)

    any short succession of notes, either as melody or as a group of chords, which produce a single complete and distinct impression

  15. Figure(noun)

    a form of melody or accompaniment kept up through a strain or passage; a musical or motive; a florid embellishment

  16. Figure(noun)

    to represent by a figure, as to form or mold; to make an image of, either palpable or ideal; also, to fashion into a determinate form; to shape

  17. Figure(noun)

    to embellish with design; to adorn with figures

  18. Figure(noun)

    to indicate by numerals; also, to compute

  19. Figure(noun)

    to represent by a metaphor; to signify or symbolize

  20. Figure(noun)

    to prefigure; to foreshow

  21. Figure(noun)

    to write over or under the bass, as figures or other characters, in order to indicate the accompanying chords

  22. Figure(noun)

    to embellish

  23. Figure(verb)

    to make a figure; to be distinguished or conspicious; as, the envoy figured at court

  24. Figure(verb)

    to calculate; to contrive; to scheme; as, he is figuring to secure the nomination


  1. Figure

    A musical figure or figuration is the shortest idea in music, a short succession of notes, often recurring. It may have melodic pitch, harmonic progression and rhythmic. The 1964 Grove's Dictionary defines the figure as "the exact counterpart of the German 'motiv' and the French 'motif'": it produces a "single complete and distinct impression". To Scruton, however, "A figure is distinguished from a motif in that a figure is background while a motif is foreground: "A figure resembles a moulding in architecture: it is 'open at both ends', so as to be endlessly repeatable. In hearing a phrase as a figure, rather than a motif, we are at the same time placing it in the background, even if it is...strong and melodious." A phrase originally presented or heard as a motif may become a figure which accompanies another melody, such as in the second movement of Claude Debussy's String Quartet. It is perhaps best to view a figure as a motif when it has special importance in a piece. According to White, motives are, "significant in the structure of the work," while figures or figurations are not and, "may often occur in accompaniment passages or in transitional or connective material designed to link two sections together," with the former being more common.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'figure' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #555

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'figure' in Written Corpus Frequency: #835

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'figure' in Nouns Frequency: #94

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'figure' in Verbs Frequency: #916

Translations for figure

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


the form or shape of a person

A mysterious figure came towards me; That girl has got a good figure.

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