Definition of figment in English:



  • A thing that someone believes to be real but that exists only in their imagination.

    ‘it really was Ross and not a figment of her overheated imagination’
    • ‘The mothers begin to suspect that their daughters might be figments of their respective imaginations.’
    • ‘She knew now that these visions were not figments of her imagination.’
    • ‘We can find animals in clouds and patterns in the stockmarket, but they are figments of our imagination.’
    • ‘Within the realms of a dressing room, the concepts of political correctness and employees' rights are but figments of the imagination.’
    • ‘Though some of the things he saw - or thought he saw - were indeed real, most of it were just figments of his ever-active imagination.’
    • ‘Or are they figments of our imagination, as it were?’
    • ‘They are no longer just figments of our imagination,’ he stressed.’
    • ‘He seems less like a real person than like a figment of Bobby's imagination.’
    • ‘‘But vampires are figments of imagination, they aren't real,’ she said with a laugh.’
    • ‘Funny how all that seems like a figment of the imagination, almost as if it never existed.’
    • ‘If you didn't see them on the news pages of respected newspapers, you would think they were figments of a fevered imagination.’
    • ‘The recent analysis, however, suggests that the events depicted were horrifyingly real and not figments of artists' imagination.’
    • ‘No matter how real they seemed, they were just figments of your imagination.’
    • ‘Wallach believes it was probably a figment of his imagination and that what matters is how proudly he told her his story.’
    • ‘They were unpleasant sometimes, but no more so than being in this prison, and they seemed too real to be merely figments of his imagination.’
    • ‘We must pretend the bombs don't exist and the explosions are a figment of our imagination.’
    • ‘Strangely, none of the people who should have been there were there, but were instead replaced by figments of my imagination.’
    • ‘Sam is uncertain as to whether this strange new world is real or just a figment of his imagination.’
    • ‘Which of the following three courses are actually funded by the taxpayer, and which are the figments of my imagination?’
    • ‘So at first she did not even know if it was real or a figment of her imagination.’
    invention, production, creation, concoction, fabrication
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (denoting an invented statement or story): from Latin figmentum, related to fingere ‘form, contrive’. Compare with feign and fiction. The current sense dates from the early 17th century.