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