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[fig-muh nt] /ˈfɪg mənt/
a mere product of mental invention; a fantastic notion:
The noises in the attic were just a figment of his imagination.
a feigned, invented, or imagined story, theory, etc.:
biographical and historical figments.
Origin of figment
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin figmentum something made or feigned, equivalent to fig- (base of fingere to mold, feign) + -mentum -ment Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for figment
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There is no permanent wise man except in the figment of the Stoics.

    Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The starting-point, the nebula, is no figment of the scientific imagination.

  • Maybe all this about being an FBI agent was just a figment of his imagination.

    Out Like a Light Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Or is God but a phantom, and the Eternal Law but a figment of the imagination?

    No Compromise with Slavery William Lloyd Garrison
  • The element of time is only a figment that clouds the question of right and deceives the borrower.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
  • A figment born from a figment; one fancy evolved from another; the shadow of a shadow.

  • To us here, Atlantis is only a figment, a shadow, far away across the waters.

    The Lost Continent C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne
British Dictionary definitions for figment


a fantastic notion, invention, or fabrication: a figment of the imagination
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin figmentum a fiction, from Latin fingere to shape
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for figment

early 15c., from Latin figmentum "something formed or fashioned, creation," related to figura "shape" (see figure (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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