[fig-muh nt]


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

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin figmentum something made or feigned, equivalent to fig- (base of fingere to mold, feign) + -mentum -ment

Synonyms for figment

2. See fiction. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for figment

Contemporary Examples of figment

Historical Examples of figment

  • 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.


    Calvin Elliott

British Dictionary definitions for figment



a fantastic notion, invention, or fabricationa figment of the imagination

Word Origin for figment

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

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