Main definitions of fig in English

: fig1fig2

fig1

noun

  • 1A soft pear-shaped fruit with sweet dark flesh and many small seeds, eaten fresh or dried.

    • ‘This is also good served with fresh figs instead of melon.’
    • ‘Wild figs may be eaten, but they are small and dry.’
    • ‘Set a dried fig to one side and spoon some orange sauce around the dish.’
    • ‘So, who wants to cultivate figs and citrus fruit?’
    • ‘Last year the birds ate all the figs from the tree before I could get to the figs.’
    • ‘Ripe figs are less attractive to birds because they remain green.’
    • ‘On the other hand, fresh figs are abundant only in the summer and fall.’
    • ‘When picking figs, look for fruit that is soft to the touch but not squishy or bruised.’
    • ‘Reduce the heat and simmer until the figs are soft, about five minutes.’
    • ‘A neighbor had given her fresh figs from her tree.’
    • ‘The bread gets crispy in the oven, and the ingredient combo is simple and beautiful: sweet figs, soft mozzarella, fragrant basil and tasty pesto.’
    • ‘Large, very sweet figs are best used fresh.’
    • ‘"You mean you're too nervous to eat, " he replied, happily eating both figs himself.’
    • ‘Pour enough custard over the roasted figs to fill the tart shells halfway.’
    • ‘Where available raccoons may also eat peaches, plums, figs, citrus fruits, watermelons, beech nuts, and walnuts.’
    • ‘I have ripe figs once a year and dried figs the other eleven months.’
    • ‘So dried figs, cranberries, apricots can all be included.’
    • ‘Place four pieces of roasted figs on the bottom of each tart shell.’
    • ‘Dried figs were a main article of the diet of ordinary people in classical Greece and Rome.’
    • ‘The wise sage asked the student to pick a fig from a large tree and open it.’
    whit, iota, jot, hoot, scrap, bit
    View synonyms
  • 2The deciduous Old World tree or shrub which bears figs.

    Ficus carica, family Moraceae

    • ‘Most fruit and berry plants can be planted now, but wait until mid-March, when the soil is warmer, to plant citrus and figs.’
    • ‘The tree, an Australian wild fig, had a circumference of more than five metres.’
    • ‘Then the sage asked his student the question, ‘How is that a huge fig tree could have grown from nothing?’’
    • ‘Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit.’
    • ‘The fig tree has tons of huge green figs and leaves, soon to be ripe enough for me to pick and preserve.’
    • ‘‘You may wait there,’ said the guard, pointing to a bench beneath a tall fig tree, before hurrying through a stone archway into another yard beyond.’
    • ‘The reader may, however, object that the fig tree is a useful and fruit-bearing tree.’
    • ‘The bee nest was actually in a hollow fig tree, right next to the chain.’
    • ‘The famous Treetops hotel started life in a humble way in 1932, when its first visitors gingerly climbed the wild fig tree supporting the two-room tree house.’
    • ‘A ‘poet's corner’ is overshadowed by a large fig tree and features a brick floor and seating area while the rose section has clear views to the valley below.’
    • ‘Sometimes you might encounter a fox, and I lost a whole morning's work watching a mother bird feeding her baby birds the figs from my fig tree.’
    • ‘But still, the day before his death, resting under a fig tree, his soul filled with joy at the glorious landscape, he worked on his final work which unfortunately, was left unfinished.’
    • ‘A barren fig tree takes up valuable garden space and nutrients that fruitful trees can use.’
    • ‘The combined feelings of exile and age were converted into peaceful images of how the fig tree has a fruitful old age ‘greater than any leafy youth, carrying its load of hope’ and displays its ancient sweetness.’
    • ‘The tender bark of a bare-root fig tree is susceptible to sunscald.’
    • ‘A squirrel (completely normal-sized) made his way over from the fig tree, to the other big shade tree, just a few feet in front of me.’
    • ‘A fig tree stands in one corner, a few giant candles decorate the room, and a trophy collection from years of fitness competitions commands one wall.’
    • ‘When I planted a fig a month ago in full sun, I mixed the soil with a recommended planting soil and root stimulator.’
    • ‘Beyond the Club House another illuminated walkway leads to the Tree House, a raised seating area built around a stout fig tree, which almost demands hours of leisurely lounging.’
    • ‘I sit between a fig tree, two hazel nut trees and a grape vine.’
    1. 2.1 Used in names of other plants of the genus Ficus, e.g. strangling fig, weeping fig.
      • ‘A good example is the Bourbong Street weeping figs, originally planted in the centre of the street in 1888, with additional plantings in the 1920s.’
      • ‘You can also let a creeping fig or other dense vine cover a block wall between you and your neighbors, or add planting sconces to walls and gates.’
      • ‘I was also interested in the way hotels employ people on the condition that they remain invisible, no more likely to engage in dialogue with a paying guest than a weeping fig plant.’
      • ‘Its dramatic Skywalk reaches above the canopy of palms, strangler figs and thick woody vines to command a breathtaking 40-mile view to the ocean.’
      • ‘Slightly smaller, but no less vigorous is Ficus benjamina, the weeping fig which is often used as a bonsai because it responds so well to pruning.’
      • ‘Soft scale is mainly a problem on indoor plants, especially citrus plants and weeping fig, and is also a problem on bay trees and many other plants.’
      • ‘While it might look impressive in rainforests, the strangler fig is one fig you shouldn't try at home.’
      • ‘Experience subtle changes in vegetation as we descend into the rainforest of bangalow palms, strangler figs and red cedar.’
      • ‘Barbados was discovered by the Portuguese in 1627 and named ‘Los Barbados’ or the bearded place, a name derived from a species of tree common to the island, the bearded fig tree.’

Phrases

  • not give (or care) a fig

    • Not have the slightest concern about.

      ‘Elaine didn't give a fig for Joe's comfort or his state of mind’
      • ‘She cares what the people close to her think, but to put it more politely than she would, she doesn't give a fig what the rest of us think.’
      • ‘Shackled by loyalty to his comrades he really doesn't give a fig for the big picture.’
      • ‘Consumers don't know what they're doing and they are piling up debt because they want jam today and don't give a fig about the future.’
      • ‘I don't give a fig for their constitutional rights.’
      • ‘Even worse, our largest trading partner doesn't give a fig for international treaties and breaks them with impunity.’
      • ‘People have upheld this countryside tradition for hundreds of years and they don't give a fig about what the urban lawmakers say.’
      • ‘Maybe she knows exactly where she is, but she doesn't give a fig about decorum.’
      • ‘The child doesn't give a fig about the parent's needs.’
      • ‘The patient, in turn, doesn't care a fig for the cost.’
      • ‘Oh, Papa, you know I don't give a fig for London seasons.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French figue, from Provençal fig(u)a, based on Latin ficus.

Pronunciation

fig

/fɪɡ/

Main definitions of fig in English

: fig1fig2

fig2

noun

in phrase full fig
informal
  • Smart clothes, especially those appropriate to a particular occasion or profession.

    ‘a soldier walking up the street in full fig’
    • ‘British magazines aren't carrying the M7 ad in its complete form so you will have to buy a French magazine if you want to see Samuel de Cubber, the model who donated his organ, in full fig.’
    • ‘He met the eye of one of the policemen who were marching, in full fig, beside the judges.’
    • ‘I'm not a great fan of stuffed moose and mediaeval knights in full fig, but Kelvingrove's got the lot.’
    • ‘They were in full fig, long gowns, tiaras, dinner jackets and all.’
    • ‘Admittedly, there's a minefield of kitsch to cross before you can be certain of conjuring up absolutely no visual resemblance to Widow Twankee, Liberace or Lesley Joseph in full fig - but the time has come to quell those fears.’
    • ‘Togged out full fig - pill-box cap, dress tunic and swagger-stick - he awaited her at the barrack gates in vain.’
    • ‘Beaton turned to Winterhalter for royalty in full fig, to Romney for pretty girls.’
    iota, scrap, shred, whit, grain, crumb, ounce, little bit, bit, tiniest bit, jot or tittle, fraction, speck, atom, particle, scintilla, trace, hint, mite
    View synonyms

verb

[with object]archaic, informal
  • Dress up (someone) to look smart.

    ‘he was figged out as fine as fivepence, with white trousers and rings and chains’

Origin

Late 17th century (as a verb): variant of obsolete feague ‘liven up’ (earlier ‘whip’); perhaps related to German fegen ‘sweep, thrash’; compare with fake. An early sense of the verb was ‘fill the head with nonsense’; later (early 19th century) ‘cause (a horse) to be lively and carry its tail well (by applying ginger to its anus)’; hence ‘smarten up’.

Pronunciation

fig

/fɪɡ/