in a way that involves or invokes a metaphor or figure of speech; metaphorically:Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated to remove darkness from our lives both literally and figuratively.We figuratively envision personal space as an aura or a soap bubble.
by means of a figure, likeness, or emblem: In art and literature, the former kingdom was often figuratively presented as a woman.
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- non·fig·ur·a·tive·ly, adverb
- sem·i·fig·ur·a·tive·ly, adverb
- un·fig·ur·a·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use figuratively in a sentence
With everything burning on Earth, literally and figuratively, Hollywood has turned to space.Everyone on TV just wants to be launched into space | Sonia Rao | November 6, 2020 | Washington Post
And, more often than not, we are also the primary caretakers of our families, literally and figuratively guiding the health care decisions and dollars spent on behalf of our partners, our children, and our parents.Women are America’s most important health care customers. So why is the system designed by men? | jakemeth | November 5, 2020 | Fortune
That was true literally — before this week, the Dodgers hadn’t lifted the trophy since 1988, one of the longest droughts in baseball — but also figuratively.The Dodgers’ Championship Machine Took A Decade — And A Lot Of Money — To Build | Neil Paine (firstname.lastname@example.org) | October 30, 2020 | FiveThirtyEight
Under that view, it would not have been hard to imagine that humanity would one day bring even Leviathan to its knees, be they figurative or vestigial.The Human Error Darwin Inspired - Issue 90: Something Green | Aaron Hirsh | September 30, 2020 | Nautilus
Between unpacking the new supplies and scientific experiments, and welcoming the new crew, there won’t be a whole lot of time to find the leak over the next few weeks, so the pressure is, figuratively, on.Astronauts on the ISS are hunting for the source of another mystery air leak | Neel Patel | September 30, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
“Mona Iraqi is responsible for 25 families losing their lives,” he said, speaking figuratively.Sisi Is Persecuting, Prosecuting, and Publicly Shaming Egypt’s Gays | Bel Trew | December 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Our Sun is fairly quiet as stars go, but it does have active times that impact us here on Earth, both figuratively and literally.
Once a pampered princeling, Yarvi cannot single-handedly succeed (literally or figuratively) and so must become a leader.
The poor—literally and figuratively—Wheel of Fortune contestant managed to produce three epic fails in a single episode.Taylor Swift’s Surprise, Comic Flight Attendant, and More Viral Videos | The Daily Beast Video | April 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
He repeated the same trick later on in his speech, starting a riff with "Take Obamacare—not literally, but figuratively."Paul Ryan: Democrats Offer Americans a ‘Full Stomach and an Empty Soul’ | Olivia Nuzzi | March 6, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It is combined with these consonant elements in order to invite it forward and bring it to a point (figuratively speaking).Expressive Voice Culture | Jessie Eldridge Southwick
The term covenant designating their relation to him as a people is not figuratively applied to it.The Ordinance of Covenanting | John Cunningham
Literally and figuratively, their lives seemed to wander through flowery pleasure-paths.Ruth | Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
As soon as we returned from the inspection trip, the boss pulled off his coat—figuratively speaking—and rolled up his sleeves.The Wreckers | Francis Lynde
These characteristics which differentiate beings can therefore be called qualities only figuratively.Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 3 | Plotinos (Plotinus)