What does figuratively mean?

Definitions for figuratively
ˈfɪg yər ə tɪv lifig·u·ra·tive·ly

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word figuratively.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. figurativelyadverb

    in a figurative sense

    "figuratively speaking,..."


  1. figurativelyadverb

    In a figurative manner.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Figurativelyadjective

    By a figure; in a sense different from that which words originally imply; not literally.

    Etymology: from figurative.

    The custom of the apostle is figuratively to transfer to himself, in the first person, what belongs to others. Henry Hammond.

    The words are different, but the sense is still the same; for therein are figuratively intended Uziah and Ezechias. Brown.

    Satyr is a kind of poetry in which human vices are reprehended, partly dramatically, partly simply; but, for the most part, figuratively and occultly. John Dryden, Juvenal, Dedicat.


  1. figuratively

    Figuratively is an adverb that refers to speech or writing that departs from a literal or factual meaning in order to achieve a particular effect, often by using metaphors, analogies, hyperbole, or other forms of imaginative or symbolic language. It is used to convey an abstract or non-literal meaning related to the context or subject it is used with.

Suggested Resources

  1. Figuratively

    Literally vs. Figuratively -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Literally and Figuratively.

How to pronounce figuratively?

How to say figuratively in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of figuratively in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of figuratively in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of figuratively in a Sentence

  1. Sir Winston Churchill:

    To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.

  2. Mercutio Southall:

    This is the ugly truth of America. It was there like literally and figuratively in black and white. We saw it. We see it daily, it shows what kind of America we live in now and what kind of America it will be with Trump at the helm.

  3. President Biden:

    We do acknowledge that Poland is taking on a significant responsibility that I don't think should just be Poland and should be the whole world — all of NATO's responsibility, the fact that you have so many Ukrainians seeking refuge in and in … Poland — we understand that because we have on our southern border thousands of people a day literally, not figuratively, trying to get to the United States.

  4. Gavin Newsom:

    We need your help to change the culture in terms of the suppression strategies in this climate literally and figuratively to be more aggressive on these federal fires, the 2021 fire year is different from any before.

  5. Beau Biden:

    It's a great honor to be able to sign this, this is one of those deals where what they did is literally and figuratively going to change the lives of women and children and some men out there.

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Translations for figuratively

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"figuratively." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/figuratively>.

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    the act of making a noisy disturbance
    A embellish
    B abase
    C affront
    D rumpus

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