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figurative

[ fig-yer-uh-tiv ]
/ ˈfɪg yər ə tɪv /
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adjective
of the nature of or involving afigure of speech, especially a metaphor; metaphorical and not literal: The word "head" has several figurative senses, as in "She's the head of the company."
metaphorically so called: His remark was a figurative boomerang.
abounding in or fond of figures of speech: Elizabethan poetry is highly figurative.
representing by means of a figure or likeness, as in drawing or sculpture.
representing by a figure or emblem; emblematic.
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Origin of figurative

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English figuratif, fygurative, from Old French figuratif, from Late Latin figūrātīvus; see origin at figure, -ative

OTHER WORDS FROM figurative

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH figurative

figuratively , literally, virtually
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use figurative in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for figurative

figurative
/ (ˈfɪɡərətɪv) /

adjective
of the nature of, resembling, or involving a figure of speech; not literal; metaphorical
using or filled with figures of speech
representing by means of an emblem, likeness, figure, etc
(in painting, sculpture, etc) of, relating to, or characterized by the naturalistic representation of the external world

Derived forms of figurative

figuratively, adverbfigurativeness, noun
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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