Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A stage performer having no speaking part.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who dances in the figures of the ballet.
  • noun An accessory character on the stage, who figures in its scenes, but has nothing to say.
  • noun Hence One who figures in any scene without taking a prominent part.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who dances at the opera, not singly, but in groups or figures; an accessory character on the stage, who figures in its scenes, but has nothing to say; hence, one who figures in any scene, without taking a prominent part.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun an actor in the background lacking an aural presence

Etymologies

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

[French, from present participle of figurer, to represent, from Old French, from Latin figūrāre, to form, from figūra, figure; see figure.]

Examples

Comments

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

  • As the Swan of Avon reminded us, all the world's a stage. Most of the players thereon, however, do not even qualify for lives of quiet desperation, rather they are figurants in what ought to be their own dramas. At least that's the truth of reality on Wall Street.

    June 14, 2010