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figurant

[ fig-yuh-rant, -rahnt; French fee-gy-rahn ]
/ ˌfɪg yəˈrænt, -ˈrɑnt; French fi güˈrɑ̃ /
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noun
a ballet dancer who does not perform solo.
a performer with no spoken lines.
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Origin of figurant

First recorded in 1775–80; from French, present participle of figurer “to figure, appear, represent,” from Old French, from Latin figūrāre, “to form, shape,” from figūra “form, composition”; see origin at figure
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use figurant in a sentence

  • The former of these is said to be 45 years of age, and has long been reckoned the best figurant on this stage.

  • He ventures to hold that as much talent is necessary to constitute a tolerable figurant as to make a good actor.

    A Book of the Play|Dutton Cook
  • The figurant, from this modest and accidental beginning of his career as an actor, speedily rose to be famous.

    A Book of the Play|Dutton Cook

British Dictionary definitions for figurant

figurant
/ (ˈfɪɡjʊrənt) /

noun
a ballet dancer who does group work but no solo roles
theatre a minor character, esp one who does not speak

Derived forms of figurant

figurante (ˌfɪɡjʊˈrɒnt), fem n

Word Origin for figurant

C18: from French, from figurer to represent, appear, figure
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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