verb (used with object), fig·ured, fig·ur·ing.
- to embellish with passing notes or other decorations.
- to write figures above or below (a bass part) to indicate accompanying chords.
verb (used without object), fig·ured, fig·ur·ing.
- to count or rely on.
- to take into consideration; plan on: You had better figure on running into heavy traffic leaving the city.
- to understand; solve: We couldn't figure out where all the money had gone.
- to calculate; compute.
Origin of figure
Synonyms for figure
Related Words for figureprice, character, rate, number, symbol, amount, cost, total, sum, image, model, leader, personality, guess, add, estimate, resolve, conclude, discover, fathom
Examples from the Web for figure
Contemporary Examples of figure
There were rumors of shrieks and flashes emanating from the well, and reports of a figure in white.New York’s Most Tragic Ghost Loves Minimalist Swedish Fashion
January 8, 2015
The people who are involved in the violence, they figure out ways to remain here at all costs and continue causing trouble.Mexico’s Priests Are Marked for Murder
January 7, 2015
Several of them disputed the figure of six million Jewish deaths in the Holocaust.The Louisiana Racists Who Courted Steve Scalise
January 3, 2015
Iggy Azalea herself might not even understand how polarizing and important a figure Iggy Azalea has become.The Cultural Crimes of Iggy Azalea
December 29, 2014
Meanwhile, politicos were already trying to figure out their next play.The Felon Who Wouldn’t Leave Congress
Ben Jacobs, David Freedlander
December 23, 2014
Historical Examples of figure
Coming on deck, he saw a figure which seemed familiar to him.
Robert glanced at Halbert's figure, slight compared with his own, and laughed.
A figure in white, with a stiff white cap, stood by the bed.Life and Death of Harriett Frean
Gives her opinion of the force which figure or person may be allowed to have upon her sex.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
You can peel the stuff out of your pockets with one hand, I figure.Way of the Lawless
- a person as impressed on the mindthe figure of Napoleon
- (in combination)father-figure
Word Origin for figure
early 13c., "visible form or appearance of a person," from Old French figure (10c.) "shape, body, form, figure; symbol, allegory," from Latin figura "a shape, form, figure," from PIE *dheigh- "to form, build" (see dough); originally in English with meaning "numeral," but sense of "form, likeness" is almost as old (mid-13c.).
Philosophical and scientific senses are from Latin figura being used to translate Greek skhema. The rhetorical use of figure dates to late 14c.; hence figure of speech (1824). Figure eight as a shape was originally figure of eight (c.1600).
late 14c., "to represent" (in a picture); see figure (n.). Meaning "to shape into" is early 15c.; "to picture in the mind" is from c.1600; "to make an appearance" is c.1600. Meaning "work out a sum" is from 1833, American English. Related: Figured; figuring.
In addition to the idioms beginning with figure
- figure in
- figure on
- figure out
- figure up
- ballpark figure
- in round numbers (figures)
- it figures