ornamented with a device or pattern: figured silk; figured wallpaper.
formed or shaped: figured stones.
represented by a pictorial or sculptured figure: The god is figured as part man, part beast.
  1. florid.
  2. having the accompanying chords indicated by figures.
figurative, as language.

Origin of figured

1350–1400; Middle English, past participle of figuren to figure; see -ed2
Related formsfig·ured·ly [fig-yerd-lee, -yer-id-] /ˈfɪg yərd li, -yər ɪd-/, adverbself-fig·ured, adjective


[fig-yer; especially British fig-er]


a numerical symbol, especially an Arabic numeral.
an amount or value expressed in numbers.
figures, the use of numbers in calculating; arithmetic: to be poor at figures.
a written symbol other than a letter.
form or shape, as determined by outlines or exterior surfaces: to be round, square, or cubical in figure.
the bodily form or frame: a slender or graceful figure.
an individual bodily form or a person with reference to form or appearance: A tall figure stood in the doorway.
a character or personage, especially one of distinction: a well-known figure in society.
a person's public image or presence: a controversial political figure.
the appearance or impression made by a person or sometimes a thing: to make quite a figure in financial circles; to present a wretched figure of poverty.
a representation, pictorial or sculptured, especially of the human form: The frieze was bordered with the figures of men and animals.
an emblem, type, or symbol: The dove is a figure of peace.
Rhetoric. a figure of speech.
a textural pattern, as in cloth or wood: draperies with an embossed silk figure.
a distinct movement or division of a dance.
a movement, pattern, or series of movements in skating.
Music. a short succession of musical notes, as either a melody or a group of chords, that produces a single complete and distinct impression.
Geometry. a combination of geometric elements disposed in a particular form or shape: The circle, square, and polygon are plane figures. The sphere, cube, and polyhedron are solid figures.
Logic. the form of a categorical syllogism with respect to the relative position of the middle term.
Optics. the precise curve required on the surface of an optical element, especially the mirror or correcting plate of a reflecting telescope.
the natural pattern on a sawed wood surface produced by the intersection of knots, burls, growth rings, etc.
a phantasm or illusion.

verb (used with object), fig·ured, fig·ur·ing.

to compute or calculate (often followed by up): to figure up a total.
to express in figures.
to mark or adorn with a design or pattern.
to portray by speech or action.
to represent or express by a figure of speech.
to represent by a pictorial or sculptured figure, a diagram, or the like; picture or depict; trace (an outline, silhouette, etc.).
Informal. to conclude, judge, reason, or think about: I figured that you wanted me to stay.
  1. to embellish with passing notes or other decorations.
  2. to write figures above or below (a bass part) to indicate accompanying chords.

verb (used without object), fig·ured, fig·ur·ing.

to compute or work with numerical figures.
to be or appear, especially in a conspicuous or prominent way: His name figures importantly in my report.
Informal. (of a situation, act, request, etc.) to be logical, expected, or reasonable: He quit the job when he didn't get a raise—it figured.

Verb Phrases

figure in, to add in: Figure in rent and utilities as overhead.
figure on, Informal.
  1. to count or rely on.
  2. to take into consideration; plan on: You had better figure on running into heavy traffic leaving the city.
figure out, Informal.
  1. to understand; solve: We couldn't figure out where all the money had gone.
  2. to calculate; compute.
figure up, Informal. to total: The bill figures up to exactly $1000.

Origin of figure

1175–1225; Middle English < Old French < Latin figūra shape, trope, equivalent to fig- (base of fingere to shape) + -ūra -ure
Related formsfig·ur·a·ble, adjectivefig·ure·less, adjectivefig·ur·er, nounout·fig·ure, verb (used with object), out·fig·ured, out·fig·ur··fig·ure, verb (used with object), re·fig·ured, re·fig·ur·ing.sub·fig·ure, nounun·fig·ur·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for figure

1. number. 2. sum, total; price. 5. See form. 8. personality. 23. reckon. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for figured

Contemporary Examples of figured

Historical Examples of figured

  • I was enthusiastic over the production when I got it on paper and figured it.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • "Yes, they do say so," interrupted the old lady under the figured veil.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • “That is about five thousand more than I figured on,” he murmured.

    The Dare Boys of 1776

    Stephen Angus Cox

  • The engineers must have figured this would be a good spot for a field test.

    Arm of the Law

    Harry Harrison

  • I figured this colt to have a fair chance to win to-day, or be in the money at least.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

British Dictionary definitions for figured



depicted as a figure in graphic art, painting, or sculpture
decorated or patterned with a design
having a form
  1. ornamental
  2. (of a bass part) provided with numerals indicating accompanying harmonies



any written symbol other than a letter, esp a whole number
another name for digit (def. 2)
an amount expressed numericallya figure of 1800 was suggested
(plural) calculations with numbershe's good at figures
visible shape or form; outline
the human form, esp as regards size or shapea girl with a slender figure
a slim bodily shape (esp in the phrases keep or lose one's figure)
a character or personage, esp a prominent or notable one; personalitya figure in politics
the impression created by a person through behaviour (esp in the phrase to cut a fine, bold, etc, figure)
  1. a person as impressed on the mindthe figure of Napoleon
  2. (in combination)father-figure
a representation in painting or sculpture, esp of the human form
an illustration or explanatory diagram in a text
a representative object or symbol; emblem
a pattern or design, as on fabric or in wood
a predetermined set of movements in dancing or skating
geometry any combination of points, lines, curves, or planes. A plane figure, such as a circle, encloses an area; a solid figure such as a sphere, encloses a volume
rhetoric See figure of speech
logic one of the four possible arrangements of the three terms in the premises of a syllogismCompare mood 2 (def. 2)
  1. a numeral written above or below a note in a partSee figured bass, thorough bass
  2. a characteristic short pattern of notes


(when tr, often foll by up) to calculate or compute (sums, amounts, etc)
(tr; usually takes a clause as object) informal, mainly US, Canadian and NZ to think or conclude; consider
(tr) to represent by a diagram or illustration
(tr) to pattern or mark with a design
(tr) to depict or portray in a painting, etc
(tr) rhetoric to express by means of a figure of speech
(tr) to imagine
(tr) music
  1. to decorate (a melody line or part) with ornamentation
  2. to provide figures above or below (a bass part) as an indication of the accompanying harmonies requiredSee figured bass, thorough bass
(intr usually foll by in) to be includedhis name figures in the article
(intr) informal to accord with expectation; be logicalit figures that he wouldn't come
go figure informal an expression of surprise, astonishment, wonder, etc
Derived Formsfigureless, adjectivefigurer, noun

Word Origin for figure

C13: from Latin figūra a shape, from fingere to mould
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 figured



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.



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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

figured in Medicine




A form or shape, as of the human body.
A person representing the essential aspects of a particular role.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with figured


In addition to the idioms beginning with figure

  • figure in
  • figure on
  • figure out
  • figure up

also see:

  • ballpark figure
  • in round numbers (figures)
  • it figures
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.