Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A written or printed symbol representing something other than a letter, especially a number.
  • n. Mathematical calculations: good at figures.
  • n. An amount represented in numbers: sold for a large figure.
  • n. Mathematics A geometric form consisting of any combination of points, lines, or planes: A triangle is a plane figure.
  • n. The outline, form, or silhouette of a thing.
  • n. The shape or form of a human body.
  • n. An indistinct object or shape: saw figures dashing down the street.
  • n. A person, especially a well-known one: a famous historical figure.
  • n. A person's public image or presence: became a tragic figure overnight.
  • n. Impression or appearance made: cuts a dashing figure.
  • n. A person, animal, or object that symbolizes something.
  • n. A pictorial or sculptural representation, especially of the human body.
  • n. A diagram.
  • n. A design or pattern, as in a textile: silk with a paisley figure.
  • n. An illustration printed from an engraved plate or block.
  • n. A configuration or distinct group of steps in a dance.
  • n. A pattern traced by a series of movements, as in ice skating.
  • n. Music A brief melodic or harmonic unit often constituting the basis of a larger phrase or structure.
  • n. Logic Any one of the forms that a syllogism can take, depending on the position of the middle term.
  • transitive v. Mathematics To calculate with numbers.
  • transitive v. To make a likeness of; depict.
  • transitive v. To adorn with a design or figures.
  • transitive v. Music To write a sequence of conventionalized numbers below or above (the bass line) to indicate harmony.
  • transitive v. Music To embellish with an ornamental pattern.
  • transitive v. Informal To conclude, believe, or predict: I never figured that this would happen.
  • transitive v. Informal To consider or regard: figured them as con artists.
  • intransitive v. Mathematics To calculate; compute.
  • intransitive v. To be or seem important or prominent.
  • intransitive v. To be pertinent or involved: politicians who figured in the scandal.
  • intransitive v. Informal To seem reasonable or expected: It figures.
  • figure in To include, as in making an account: figured in travel expenses.
  • figure on Informal To depend on: We figured on your support.
  • figure on Informal To take into consideration; expect: I figured on an hour's delay.
  • figure on Informal To plan: We figure on leaving at noon.
  • figure out Informal To discover or decide: Let's figure out a way to help.
  • figure out Informal To solve or decipher: Can you figure out this puzzle?

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A drawing or representation conveying information.
  • n. A person or thing representing a certain consciousness.
  • n. A human figure, which dress or corset must fit to; the shape of human body.
  • n. A numeral.
  • n. A number.
  • n. A shape.
  • n. A visible pattern as in wood or cloth.
  • n. A dance figure.
  • n. A figure of speech.
  • v. To solve a mathematical problem.
  • v. To come to understand.
  • v. to be reasonable
  • v. to enter, be a part of

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The form of anything; shape; outline; appearance.
  • n. The representation of any form, as by drawing, painting, modeling, carving, embroidering, etc.; especially, a representation of the human body
  • n. A pattern in cloth, paper, or other manufactured article; a design wrought out in a fabric.
  • n. 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 surfaces; any arrangement made up of points, lines, angles, surfaces, etc.
  • n. The appearance or impression made by the conduct or career of a person.
  • n. Distinguished appearance; magnificence; conspicuous representation; splendor; show.
  • n. A character or symbol representing a number; a numeral; a digit; as, 1, 2,3, etc.
  • n. Value, as expressed in numbers; price.
  • n. A person, thing, or action, conceived of as analogous to another person, thing, or action, of which it thus becomes a type or representative.
  • n. 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. Also called a figure of speech.
  • n. The form of a syllogism with respect to the relative position of the middle term.
  • n. Any one of the several regular steps or movements made by a dancer.
  • n. A horoscope; the diagram of the aspects of the astrological houses.
  • n.
  • n. Any short succession of notes, either as melody or as a group of chords, which produce a single complete and distinct impression.
  • n. A form of melody or accompaniment kept up through a strain or passage; a musical phrase or motive; a florid embellishment.
  • intransitive v. To make a figure; to be distinguished or conspicious.
  • intransitive v. To calculate; to contrive; to scheme.
  • transitive v. 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.
  • transitive v. To embellish with design; to adorn with figures.
  • transitive v. To indicate by numerals; also, to compute.
  • transitive v. To represent by a metaphor; to signify or symbolize.
  • transitive v. To prefigure; to foreshow.
  • transitive v.
  • transitive v. To write over or under the bass, as figures or other characters, in order to indicate the accompanying chords.
  • transitive v. To embellish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make a figure, image, likeness, or picture of; represent artificially in any way: as, to figure a plant, shell, etc.
  • To cover or adorn with figures or images; mark with figures; form figures in by art; fashion into a figure; diversify; variegate: as, to figure velvet or muslin.
  • To represent figuratively or symbolically; symbolize.
  • To imagine; image in the mind.
  • To prefigure; foreshow.
  • To mark with or note by significant figures; mark or indicate significantly or numerically: as, to figure the dial of a clock, or the hours on the dial; to figure the bass in music to show the intended harmony.
  • To set down or reckon up in numerical figures; make a calculation of: as, to figure, figure up, or figure out costs, profits, or losses.
  • In music: To embellish by adding passing-notes or other decorations, especially definite figures much repeated.
  • See del. 6, and figured bass, under bass.
  • To make a figure; show one's self; be seen or prominent; take a part.
  • To cipher; work by means of figures; make a calculation: as, to figure at a problem; to figure upon a proposed bargain.
  • n. A line, or a collection of connected straight or curved lines or surfaces, having a definite shape; specifically, in geometry, any combination of lines, surfaces, or solids formed under given conditions.
  • n. In general, the visible or tangible form of anything; the shape of the outline or exterior surface; form; shape; fashion: as, a beautiful female figure; the grotesque figure of a satyr; the figure of the earth.
  • n. Hence A body; a visible object or shape; especially, a human form as a whole; a person regarded simply as a body; an appearance representing a body.
  • n. The artificial representation of a form, as in sculpture, drawing or painting, embroidery, etc.; especially, the human body represented by art of any kind.
  • n. A cut or diagram inserted in printed text, or one of a number of representations on the same plate. Abbreviated fig.
  • n. A personage or personality; a character; especially, a person of standing or consideration: as, he is a figure, or a conspicuous figure, in the society of the place.
  • n. Appearance or manifestation; show; display; standing; position: used of the comparative prominence, consideration, or estimation of a person or thing, and in an absolute sense to signify marked prominence, importance, or distinction.
  • n. Outward manifestation; the state of being set out in regular order.
  • n. In logic, the form of a syllogism with respect to the relative position of the middle term.
  • n. In astrology, a diagram which represents the heavens at any time; a scheme; a horoscope; also, a diagram used in the practice of geomancy.
  • n. A movement of a dance; one of the regular divisions of a dance, comprising a special set of evolutions, and separated from the next movement by a slight pause.
  • n. In music: A short theme or motive having a distinct rhythmic, melodic, or harmonic individuality, which is often the germ of extended movements; usually, the shortest complete idea or form into which a phrase can be divided without being reduced to separate tones.
  • n. A numeral subjoined to a written bass to indicate briefly the nature of the unwritten harmony. see figured bass, under bass.
  • n. Any significant written or printed character other than a letter; specifically, an arithmetical character, especially one of the Arabic figures, the nine digits and the cipher: sometimes used of a digit, as distinguished from a cipher: as, a full figure.
  • n. Value, as expressed in numbers; price: as, the goods were sold at a high figure.
  • n. A mystical type; an antecedent symbol or emblem; that which prefigures or represents a coming reality.
  • n. In rhetoric, a peculiar or special use of words; employment of words in forms, combinations, or meanings different from those properly or ordinarily assigned to them; use of certain forms of speech to produce a special effect.
  • n. An image; a fancy; a product of the imagination.
  • n. In ornamental woodwork, the grain of the wood, especially such grain when of unusual richness and when used with special care as a part of the design.
  • n. plural The highest division of the lowest grade in the classical course in a Jesuit school.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. judge to be probable
  • v. understand
  • n. a diagram or picture illustrating textual material
  • n. a well-known or notable person
  • n. a decorative or artistic work
  • n. the property possessed by a sum or total or indefinite quantity of units or individuals
  • v. make a mathematical calculation or computation
  • n. alternative names for the body of a human being
  • v. imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind
  • n. language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense
  • n. a model of a bodily form (especially of a person)
  • n. one of the elements that collectively form a system of numeration
  • n. a combination of points and lines and planes that form a visible palpable shape
  • n. the impression produced by a person
  • v. be or play a part of or in
  • n. a predetermined set of movements in dancing or skating
  • n. a unitary percept having structure and coherence that is the object of attention and that stands out against a ground
  • n. an amount of money expressed numerically

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin figūra; see dheigh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Now, since the recurring decimal. [.9] is equal to 9/9, and therefore to 1, it is evident that, although the clown who bears the figure 1 is absent, the man who bears the figure 9 by this simple artifice has for the occasion given his _figure_ the value of the

    The Canterbury Puzzles And Other Curious Problems

  • Hence, when we acquire the idea of solidity, we acquire at the same time the idea of FIGURE; and this idea of figure, or motion of _a part_ of the organ of touch, exactly resembles _in its figure_ the figure of the body that occasions it; and thus exactly acquaints us with this property of the external world.

    Zoonomia, Vol. I Or, the Laws of Organic Life

  • Reason it rocks: The fact that the main figure is screaming his throat raw with the headliners of the issue is enough for me.

    Willpower from Supertown Emotes Like Crazy

  • The narrative, spelled out in the program, tells the story of the title figure, a rebellious spirit who leads his fellow gladiators against the oppressive army of Imperial Rome.

    Those Mighty Men in Tights

  • Here, Piper as he is mostly known is now a powerful general, and discovers something about his past, who he is, and a powerful sorcerer or two including the title figure as he is ordered into the field by a waning Patriarch to make war on the infidel.

    Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror: Lord Of the Silent Kingdom - Glen Cook

  • If Mr. Welch's choreography has anything more to it than a relentless series of dancers stepping into arabesque pose to pause as if in standard classroom exercises, it would be in the duets arranged for his title figure and the men in her life.

    A Biography in Need of an Editor

  • Even the title figure Clooney portrays does not eagerly don his superhero cape.

    "Michael Clayton", Issues of Accountability and Brave New Films' "The Real Rudy: Radios"

  • The title figure of Shakespeare's play is referred to as 'black Othello'.

    Shakespeare

  • The title figure, King Cymbeline, is significantly like Lear.

    Shakespeare

  • However, "The Girl on the Train" is focused more on the title figure's emotional and mental disturbance.

    The Jewish Week (BETA)

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.