Definition of figure in English:

figure

noun

  • 1A number, especially one which forms part of official statistics or relates to the financial performance of a company.

    ‘the trade figures’
    ‘by 1998, this figure had risen to 14 million’
    • ‘No attendance figures were released, but only 1,500 of the 7,000 published programmes were sold.’
    • ‘Lambeth has become cleaner and greener, with latest performance figures showing a slight rise in recycling rates.’
    • ‘All the figures are taken from official statistics, and exclude employees who do less than one hour of unpaid overtime a week.’
    • ‘As a privately held company it did not publish financial performance figures.’
    • ‘The Bank's move came despite today's official figures showing inflation rising to its highest level for two years.’
    • ‘Though precise figures are unavailable, anecdotal estimates rarely vary.’
    • ‘Passenger revenue was calculated using population figures, surveyors' road traffic counts and the passenger rates of similar lines.’
    • ‘In 1998 there were 52, and last year's figures are likely to be similar.’
    • ‘The country has nearly 100 million Internet users, according to official figures, and the figure is rising.’
    • ‘The college's intake from state schools is 94 per cent compared with last year's figure of 89 per cent.’
    • ‘As is often the case with trade statistics, figures quantifying the value of pirated Caribbean music are difficult to find.’
    • ‘Those are not figures that are just plucked out of the air; they are official police figures used to compile statistics.’
    • ‘It cites official figures that show crime rising steadily over 40 years.’
    • ‘In 1978, financial figures revealed that the average house price in London was £16, 731.’
    • ‘The company's latest sales figures are down nearly 8 per cent on a year ago.’
    • ‘Does he have any figures on the increase of respiratory illness?’
    • ‘Indeed, Die Welt reported on Friday that it had obtained a copy of the latest unemployment figures not due for official release until this week.’
    • ‘Today's attendance figures at those galleries and exhibitions would have astonished and thrilled curators in the 1960s.’
    • ‘Use these figures to calculate loss of future business due to customer dissatisfaction.’
    • ‘Similar results this time will mean a much closer election than today's poll figures suggest.’
    • ‘On Friday came fresh figures on the economy and on retail sales.’
    statistic, number, integer, quantity, amount, level, total, sum
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    1. 1.1 A numerical symbol, especially any of the ten in Arabic notation.
      ‘the figure 7’
      • ‘Millar is preparing for the opening time trial wearing a number that ends with a figure 1.’
      • ‘Lucian drew a sideways figure 8 in the air beside Mark.’
      digit, numeral, numerical symbol, character
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    2. 1.2 One of a specified number of digits making up a larger number, used to give a rough idea of the order of magnitude.
      in combination ‘a six-figure sum of money’
      • ‘Our inflation rate has been in single figures, moving between 2 percent and 4 percent.’
      • ‘You should be prepared for the possibility of lower investment yields in the future - likely to be in single figures.’
      • ‘This FA Cup third round tie is cue, presumably, for a typical Fulham gag-fest, a joke or two about keeping the score in single figures.’
      • ‘They don't want you to know that reps are working about 20 to 30 hours a week while pulling down close to six-figure salaries.’
      • ‘Considering that this is aimed at children of ages in single figures, it's not necessarily the most uncomplicated arrangement.’
      • ‘One of these youths stole a four-figure sum from me recently and I am now very apprehensive.’
      • ‘The cost savings will be between six and seven figures.’
    3. 1.3 An amount of money.
      ‘a figure of two thousand pounds’
      • ‘In the 18 months since the meters were introduced, they had not even managed to bring in half of the break-even figure of about £4,500.’
      • ‘Within the letter, the figure of ‘$500,000 a year’ is noted repeatedly.’
      • ‘The gross for the final session was up 14.2% over last year's figure of $1,160,500.’
      price, cost, amount, quantity, value, valuation, quotation, quote, rate
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    4. 1.4figures Arithmetical calculations.
      ‘she has no head for figures’
      • ‘A natural affinity for figures - he used to help his father's bookkeeper - got him a start in accountancy.’
      • ‘Lee took the maps and calibrators and ran a few figures and calculations and looked at the Admiral.’
      • ‘I am terrible at maths and even worse at figures, but I trust all my advisers because they are basically friends as well.’
      • ‘She has a first in mathematics, so she clearly has a head for figures.’
      • ‘The man thought this over for a few seconds, calculating figures in his head.’
      • ‘His father sent him off to college to study business administration, but Gallagher says he wasn't any good at figures.’
      arithmetic, mathematics, sums, calculations, reckoning, computation, numbers, statistics, counting
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  • 2A person's bodily shape, especially that of a woman and when considered to be attractive.

    ‘she had always been so proud of her figure’
    • ‘The girls were fashionably attired but not overdressed, with attractive figures and lovely faces.’
    • ‘It may seem obvious, but when the human figure is portrayed in art, it is either clothed or naked.’
    • ‘She does not dress scantily when exercising, even though she has an attractive figure.’
    • ‘She looks ravishing, with an hourglass figure that is beyond comprehension.’
    • ‘For artists, the beauty and complexity of the human figure is the prime impetus for painting it.’
    • ‘Sally can offer advice on colours and what shapes suit your figure.’
    • ‘He couldn't sleep at night, only thinking of her slim and attractive figure with a good-natured mind.’
    • ‘At 82, he remains a tall, dashing figure and a serious charmer.’
    • ‘The pants really flattered her figure.’
    • ‘It's good mentally because you have to be alert the whole time and it's great physically because it really keeps your figure in trim.’
    • ‘She will be proud to show her figure as she will pose in sexy lingerie of her choice.’
    • ‘Amy's figure was very slim, with long legs, arms, and a slender neck.’
    physique, build, frame, body, proportions, torso, shape, form, stature
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    1. 2.1 A person seen indistinctly or from a distance.
      ‘a dark figure emerged from the shadows’
      • ‘There was no one nearby but she saw figures running in the distance.’
      • ‘By the time the dust died down, they were but four figures on the distant horizon.’
      • ‘Bryony spotted the lone figure emerging from the water, the current lapping at his body.’
      • ‘Through the blur of the falling rain, Tracy notices a hooded figure dressed in black.’
      • ‘A dark figure emerged from one side of the street and another from the other side.’
      • ‘As she rode out of the woods she noticed a lone figure sitting on the white fence near the stable.’
      • ‘Occasionally, we spot a lone figure emerging on the horizon.’
      • ‘Mark's heart was pounding as a hooded figure appeared in front of him.’
      • ‘As Stefansson made his way across the ice and snow, he saw figures in the distance approaching him.’
      • ‘I saw a figure in the distance walking with a pronounced limp.’
      • ‘She squinted suddenly at what appeared to be two figures in the distance.’
      • ‘In an answer to her question, Rena saw a cloaked figure standing before her.’
      • ‘She screamed even louder when the door suddenly opened and a dark figure suddenly appeared.’
      • ‘A shadowy, hooded figure emerged from the forest and approached me.’
      • ‘When I did awake I noticed a shadowy figure standing over me.’
      • ‘Elizabeth looked up and past Jesse, seeing a tall dark figure appear from the elevator.’
      • ‘The streets were dark and all but deserted; we only saw two figures off in the distance in the dim streets.’
      • ‘Derick looked up to see a shadowy, cloaked figure.’
      • ‘As Dan turned, the slim figure hurled him bodily against the far wall.’
      • ‘The three survivors stood in silence as a lone figure appeared in the dark shadows of the doorway.’
      silhouette, outline, shape, form, profile, shadow
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    2. 2.2 A representation of a human or animal form in drawing or sculpture.
      ‘starkly painted figures’
      • ‘Those with painting skills display their talent by drawing eye-catching figures in attractive hues.’
      • ‘The sculptures are mainly human and animal figures, although one is based on cartoon character Shrek.’
      • ‘The modeling and outline of the figures showed sculptural solidity.’
      • ‘The sculpture consists of two figures facing one another, the one on the left male, and the one on the right female.’
      • ‘For 18 years, he ferried pieces of junk and debris on his bicycle to the municipal site and worked by night to shape the figures.’
      • ‘Small clay figures, human and animal, were modelled and placed as offerings on mountain peak sanctuaries.’
      • ‘His human and animal figures, reduced to mounds, slabs and tubes, possess a quiet grace.’
      • ‘His other sculptures are figures of saints, the Holy Virgin, Christ and of ordinary people.’
      • ‘But Ghirlandaio does not depict busts or statues, his figures are shown as though alive within an illusionistic setting.’
      • ‘Surrealistic and abstract human figures instead dominate his oil paintings.’
      • ‘The figures lack the sculptural quality of those in the Asnieres painting.’
      • ‘It contains twenty-eight tapestries, 118 sculpted figures and forty-one paintings.’
      • ‘Painter John Wesley is known for his flatly painted, cartoonish canvases of figures and animals.’
      • ‘For, in his frames, there is always the presence of figures blending into each other - forever in a rush to complement each other.’
      • ‘His pursuit of beauty continues to this day, as he quietly goes about his daily tasks of carving stone sculptures and casting concrete figures.’
      • ‘Like Manet, Degas painted figures in the studio rather than outdoors.’
      • ‘The presence of the shadow-like figures in each of her canvases only serves as a suggestion to set her mind on capturing the movement and rhythm.’
      • ‘Sumida pottery is a heavy, brightly glazed pottery and often has human and animal figures attached as reliefs.’
      • ‘Although Monet mostly painted nature scenes, he sometimes included human figures in his paintings.’
      • ‘As a child, he had sculpted small animal figures from riverbank clay.’
      human representation, image of a person, effigy
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  • 3A person of a particular kind, especially one who is important or distinctive in some way.

    ‘Williams became something of a cult figure’
    • ‘Abacus has brought out paperback titles relating to two important figures in twentieth century intellectual thought.’
    • ‘Later that month as public concern about the costs of the dome grew Sanchia Berg spoke to leading figures in the visitor attraction industry.’
    • ‘An opera forgotten for more than 100 hundred years tells the story of one of Skipton's most important historical figures.’
    • ‘It was decided that portraits of historical figures who have made important contributions to culture and art should be sculptured.’
    • ‘He's up there with Jacques Chirac in terms of being a durable figure on the world stage.’
    • ‘Many of Ireland's most prominent historical figures are contained in the archive, as well as pictures of Ireland.’
    • ‘Among those who died in the hijacked planes were a television producer, an actor, sports officials, media figures and captains of industry.’
    • ‘In many cases it is perfectly reasonable to accept the conclusions of authority figures one trusts.’
    • ‘His chief European rival, Saint-Exupéry, was a complex but more attractive figure.’
    • ‘He's not the most attractive public figure but he certainly isn't the least.’
    • ‘Cobain became the figurehead, the cult figure, the hero to some.’
    • ‘He became a leading figure in the early working class movement in Britain.’
    • ‘But despite the author's best efforts, he does not emerge from these pages as an attractive figure.’
    • ‘Cultural heroes are important figures in the folklore of Polynesian societies.’
    • ‘Ibrahim said the draft bill calls for schools to form committees with parents, local government officials and public figures.’
    • ‘The main figure on whom Baxter relied was Randall.’
    • ‘Certain literary figures have attracted special scrutiny, in recent years none more so than Samuel Johnson.’
    • ‘But Johnson and Boswell were not the only literary figures to be attracted to these western islands.’
    • ‘Fraenkel, von Neumann, Bernays and Gödel are all important figures in this development.’
    • ‘A native of the Auvergne, he became a leading figure in the regionalist movement in France.’
    person, personage, individual, man, woman, character, personality, presence
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  • 4A shape which is defined by one or more lines in two dimensions (such as a circle or a triangle), or one or more surfaces in three dimensions (such as a sphere or a cuboid), either considered mathematically in geometry or used as a decorative design.

    ‘a red ground with white and blue geometrical figures’
    • ‘Now if you thought these lines referred to geometric figures, you would not be too far wrong.’
    • ‘The simplest way to look at it is this: actually, neither of the two larger figures shown are triangles.’
    • ‘He observed that ideas of shapes or figures, like the triangle, were ideas of things he had not invented or conjured up.’
    • ‘Odd shapes and geometric figures swam in and out of Dawn's consciousness.’
    • ‘In particular he proved that the sphere was the solid figure of greatest surface area for a given volume.’
    shape, pattern, design, motif, device, depiction
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    1. 4.1 A diagram or illustrative drawing, especially in a book or magazine.
      ‘figure 1 shows an ignition circuit’
      • ‘The book utilizes tables and figures effectively to illustrate the main concepts of each chapter.’
      • ‘The text is well illustrated with excellent diagrams, sketches and figures.’
      • ‘Lesions are often associated with main leaf veins (Figure 2A and 2B).’
      • ‘The data from each plate were then graphed and analyzed (Figure 1A).’
      • ‘Figure 1b shows the results obtained for = 0.001 with the swap step.’
      diagram, illustration, drawing, picture, plate, graphic, sketch, chart, plan, map
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    2. 4.2 (in skating) a movement or series of movements following a prescribed pattern and often beginning and ending at the same point.
      • ‘For the rare skater who is still involved in skating figures, one final aspect of the used blades market is the practice of converting used freestyle blades into patch blades.’
      • ‘In receiving the award Jered follows in his mother's footsteps - she is listed on the trophy three times, as a gold test skater in figures, freestyle, and pairs.’
    3. 4.3 A pattern formed by the movements of a group of people, for example in country dancing, as part of a longer dance or display.
      • ‘Congratulations also to Spa and Glenflesk also for winning the All Ireland also in set dancing and figure dancing.’
      • ‘Most Irish figure dancing or step dancing is carried on behind closed doors.’
      • ‘The figures of these dances mapped a circuitous route back to Ireland - not just an imagined return but an embodied recovery.’
      • ‘Every year, during the figure dancing season, each class has an opportunity to host a Feis.’
      • ‘Elspeth was using her hands to explain something about the dance figures.’
      • ‘It has dance movements, or figures, that might remind you of traditional square dancing.’
      • ‘Included are figure dancing, solo dancing, recitations, music and novelty acts.’
    4. 4.4archaic The external form or shape of something.
  • 5Music
    A short succession of notes producing a single impression; a brief melodic or rhythmic formula out of which longer passages are developed.

    • ‘Melodic figures are treated circularly, giving the piece a minimalist sound.’
    • ‘Warm melodic figures are juxtaposed with harsher percussive patterns, setting up some fascinating contrasts in sound.’
    • ‘Every melodic figure had its replica, every phrase, its counterpoise in his music.’
    • ‘Their textures are dominated by right-hand melodies against chordal accompaniment figures.’
    • ‘When the broad flowing melody is allowed to return, that is eventually interrupted with a striking five note figure for muted brass.’
  • 6Logic
    The form of a syllogism, classified according to the position of the middle term.

verb

[no object]
  • 1Have a significant part or role in a situation or process.

    ‘the issue of nuclear policy figured prominently in the talks’
    ‘human rights do not figure high on their agenda’
    • ‘In the ensuing decade, Performance has regularly figured in lists of the best British films.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, race figured prominently in the cases in the 1994 study.’
    • ‘Although they will not get all that they want, there were signs last night that the issue will figure in the summit's final action plan.’
    • ‘Here we are confronted with the first of many social dilemmas which are to figure in the young Carver's life.’
    • ‘Scarborough will have the same squad on duty at Rushden tomorrow as the one that figured in the 1-0 defeat of Altrincham on Wednesday.’
    • ‘It feels as if Haentjens has things to say about Plath that don't figure in this novel.’
    • ‘Class interest barely figures in the totalitarian approach.’
    • ‘The state of the economy and of the overall battle against terrorism should also figure in a major way.’
    • ‘This is a subway stop that just doesn't figure in the mythology of New York.’
    • ‘The Connemara Market at Palayam, a village market-place under a tree and even a modern market figured among the paintings.’
    • ‘The Clark holdings played no small part in these events; they also figured prominently in the critical counterpunch.’
    • ‘Political parties have always figured prominently in Congress since the earliest days of the American Republic.’
    • ‘Now, however, imagine her rescue figuring on the nightly analysis slot of some channel.’
    • ‘Figures due out on November 21 might be instructive but a merger deal is not thought likely to figure in the statement.’
    • ‘How well you handle them will figure in any estimate of your future potential.’
    • ‘This scandal has even figured in the American presidential election.’
    • ‘Scotland may figure in the government's compromise deal, though not for the right reasons.’
    • ‘But pressure is integral to F1 and fear has failed to figure in the careers of either driver.’
    • ‘Women's boxing is yet to figure in the Olympics but is gaining ground.’
    feature, appear, be featured, be mentioned, be referred to
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  • 2North American with object Calculate or work out (an amount or value) arithmetically.

    ‘my accountant figured my tax wrong’
    • ‘The change in tree cover over time was figured by comparing Landsat TM satellite images from 1985 and 2001.’
    • ‘I figure that a bodybuilder has to eat at least six times a day to grow, which is 42 meals a week.’
    • ‘You won't even have to rack your brains over calculating taxes since they've already figured it out for you on the menu.’
    calculate, work out, total, sum, reckon, compute, enumerate, determine, evaluate, quantify, assess, count, add up, put a figure on, tally, totalize, gauge
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  • 3North American informal with clause Think, consider, or expect to be the case.

    ‘I figured that I didn't have much of a chance’
    with object ‘for years, teachers had figured him for a dullard’
    • ‘Sighing heavily, Joan figured this conversation had gone on long enough.’
    • ‘I figure that if I stand around and look helpless, someone will at least offer to buy me a drink.’
    • ‘I figured this idea could make me a millionaire, but it looks like someone beat me to it.’
    • ‘Wiley figured the water level must have risen from all the rain they had received the day before.’
    • ‘By the time he got downstairs it had stopped ringing but he figured the person might still be there.’
    • ‘There were actually a lot of people outside, which was weird since it was a Saturday and I figured people were tired.’
    • ‘They figured most people would go there at one point.’
    • ‘I figured this last revelation would give him something to think about, but he barely flinched.’
    • ‘He figured this person would make an excellent singer.’
    • ‘They figure that the more control they have over applications, the more they'll be able to charge.’
    • ‘I'd done it a few times, but figured the money wasn't really worth it.’
    • ‘From the sound of his voice I figured the person who walked in was young.’
    • ‘I figured people might be getting bored of reading about me all the time’
    • ‘I stood up, walked around, drank some water and figured it was just a passing phase.’
    • ‘Miriam left for school an hour early because she figured the peace protesters would make it hard to get to class.’
    • ‘I figured people would be asking that question, but what you see in the movie is kind of our take on that.’
    • ‘But I figured the only people who were reading my blog when I wrote these were Maccers and Snowy, so I might get away with it.’
    • ‘Investors figure that the purchaser will pay a high price for the company.’
    • ‘I figured the radical transformation of the world's energy supply would be of personal interest to them.’
    • ‘It's not exactly revelatory information, but I figured someone out there might find it useful.’
    suppose, think, believe, fancy, consider, expect, take it, suspect, have a sneaking suspicion, sense
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    1. 3.1 (of a recent event or newly discovered fact) be perfectly understandable and only to be expected.
      ‘well, she supposed that figured’
      • ‘That figured and didn't surprise him, though he wished Harry would just have a normal conversation instead of locking him in a room.’
      • ‘Sure, that figures, if you're going to drive with that kind of load at high speed you're bound to damage something.’
      • ‘It would figure that this great hog, this glorified genre gourmand, would want more.’
      • ‘Given the turmoil in the auction world, it figures that the firm would be looking for new, larger quarters.’
      make sense, be understandable, seem reasonable, stand to reason, be to be expected, be logical, follow, add up, stand up, hold up
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  • 4with object Represent in a diagram or picture.

    ‘varieties of this Cape genus are figured from drawings made there’
    • ‘An adopted daughter, who would not be represented in the tree that is figured, would nevertheless form part of the unit.’
    • ‘Losing oneself in the movie is not figured as pleasurable, but sets up, rather, a mode of helplessness in the face of an opaque and fragmented story line.’
    • ‘There is something very odd about the way the revolution is figured, and the oddness goes beyond the closing scene.’
    • ‘However, the mutual acknowledgement of the other only occurs when their death is figured as inevitable.’
    1. 4.1usually as adjective figured Embellish (something) with a pattern.
      ‘the floors were covered with figured linoleum’
      • ‘Reflecting the changing styles, the single-cutaway guitar featured a flat, figured maple top.’
      • ‘It has superbly figured timber, a majestic curvaceous profile and spectacular mounts that echo in gilt-bronze the carved detail on the jewel cabinet.’
      • ‘The shapes are highly varied - cylinders, prisms, animals - and the designs range from abstract patterns to figured images of people and animals.’

Phrases

  • figure of fun

    • A person who is considered ridiculous.

      • ‘He can't do anything else; he's impotent, useless, obsolete, a figure of fun even to the reader.’
      • ‘If I was wandering around telling people to shop less, eat less, borrow somebody's old clothes, I'd quickly become a figure of fun.’
      • ‘Fear of turning into such a pathetic figure of fun, I'm sure, is why I have adopted a pre-emptive strike when it comes to admitting my age.’
      • ‘He looked like an advert for ‘cricket trousers for the fuller figure’, but this portly batsman was no figure of fun.’
      • ‘Hair thinning, waists thickening, faces falling, they are held up to us as figures of fun.’
      • ‘Briefly enjoying a career as a figure of fun, the bankrupt former minister now hardly figures at all.’
      • ‘They started out as figures of fun, but I felt their perspectives ought to be as valid as anyone else's in the book.’
      • ‘Jesters of the past, though figures of fun at the royal court, were often highly intelligent men whose quick wit and sharp tongue both diverted the monarch and reminded him of his mortality.’
      • ‘Put like that, he doesn't seem much like a figure of fun.’
      • ‘What was not clear last night was whether it would leave him a tarnished man, or enable him to shake off his image of being a dull, boring figure of fun.’
      figure of fun, object of ridicule, dupe, butt, fool, joke, standing joke, everybody's fool, stooge
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  • lose (or keep) one's figure

    • Lose (or retain) a slim and attractive bodily shape.

      • ‘She wasn't well-educated, had no profession and had lost her figure and gone to fat.’
      • ‘Why worry about life - you'll only end up losing your figure!’
      • ‘I tease her sometimes about how she keeps her figure.’
      • ‘He shops and cooks for her - ‘I fell in love and lost my figure’ - and she is deliriously happy.’
      • ‘If she wants to become an actress, she needs to keep her figure.’
      • ‘You may be confused by my lack of appetite, but I honestly don't know how you manage to keep your figure with all that sugar!’
      • ‘She always managed to keep her figure somehow.’
      • ‘Mother, I can hardly expect to attract Evan's attention if I don't keep my figure.’
      • ‘Alex you never pass up a meal and it still amazes me how you can keep your figure!’
      • ‘Now by no means am I obese or anything, but I actually have to work at keeping my figure, not that I have much of one.’
  • put a figure on

    • Give a price or exact number for.

      • ‘British insurers said it was too early for the London market to put a figure on the claims.’
      • ‘Mr Gill did not want to put a figure on the number of trees affected or the amount of money the problem is likely to cost his business.’
      • ‘Even if we cannot yet fully count the value of the environment as such, we can put a figure on the cost of environmental destruction.’
      • ‘And given the uncertainty surrounding the extent of global warming, not to mention its causes and consequences, it is hard to put a figure on it.’
      • ‘We don't want to put a figure on it but if we can keep it under five we'd be happy.’
      • ‘But the reason I shouldn't put a figure on it, is that I don't run every business in the country.’
      • ‘But he was reluctant to put a figure on the reduced price.’
      • ‘I wouldn't go as far as putting a figure on it though.’
      • ‘Although I can't put a figure on it because we haven't costed the scheme, resurfacing the road would be incredibly expensive and we haven't got the money to do it.’
      • ‘But it's impossible to put a figure on something like that.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • figure on

    • Expect (something) to happen or be the case.

      ‘anyone thinking of salmon fishing should figure on paying $200 a day’
      • ‘Protecting the nation from a dictator was not something they figured on having to do when they were planning to build a new nation.’
      • ‘I had figured on being serious at some points - writing my usual novel length posts about life and the world - but this has been much more entertaining for me.’
      • ‘I had figured on Sunday being the busy drive day - I guess I wasn't alone in that assessment.’
      • ‘I wasn't expecting another plane, I figured on a car to take us to Hot Springs,’ Muriel said.’
      • ‘They figured on holding the auditions in three days, depending on how many people responded.’
      • ‘I was figuring on leaving the leftovers in the break room in case anyone wanted a snack.’
      • ‘I was sure it wouldn't matter to him that I was figuring on ditching her as soon as I was let out.’
      • ‘She was figuring on getting a tree and since we have one and haven't used it in two years I figured maybe she could borrow it,’ Alison said.’
      • ‘We weren't counting how many people would be bereft if we died, because we weren't figuring on dying.’
      • ‘Mom, about the slumber party how many guests were you figuring on?’
      plan on, calculate on, count on, rely on, bank on, bargain on, depend on, pin one's hopes on
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  • figure something out

    • Solve or discover the cause of a problem.

      ‘he was trying to figure out why the camera wasn't working’
      • ‘I have done all this for her, yes, but mostly for me, because by writing about how hard a time I've had figuring this whole thing out I've found a bigger piece of who I am, and I like that piece.’
      • ‘I recently saw this book again at the bookstore, and memories of the event came rushing back to me, even though right now I have absolutely no idea what the book is about or the significance of figuring it out.’
      • ‘Jade looked up to her mommy with a warm smile her small eyes with one of those curious looks they got when she had either solved a problem or had figured something out.’
      • ‘Most jurors like to believe that they can really figure this whole puzzle out a little better than the lawyers can.’
      • ‘First the basic framework needs to be worked out then the name can be figured out, after all what is a name without something to go with it?’
      • ‘As soon as you start pursuing the process of figuring each problem out, and connecting it with other problems, you have started down the road to leftism.’
      • ‘And we will have figured it out for no other reason than to know.’
      • ‘Finally, I would say, please understand that I am still figuring this thing out, just like everybody else.’
      • ‘Now, assuming I can still sleep because I'm thinking about that, when I wake up it will be figured out.’
      • ‘It's a personality quirk, I know, but I enjoy taking something and making it whole and figuring things out.’
      work out, make out, fathom, reason, puzzle out, decipher, solve, ascertain, make sense of, think out, think through, get to the bottom of, find an answer to, find an solution to, unravel, untangle
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  • figure someone out

    • Reach an understanding of a person's actions, motives, or personality.

      • ‘But if someone's trying to figure you out, that is hard.’
      • ‘We told her that she might not want to talk to us because she might go crazy trying to figure us out.’
      • ‘As for the other guy - you'll figure him out soon enough.’
      • ‘‘I really can't figure you out,’ I say to him on one of my rare visits back into that dark office.’
      • ‘When she figures him out, she will understand herself.’
      • ‘It seems we need to figure someone out before we strike up a conversation.’
      • ‘I imagine that strangers have even a harder time figuring him out.’
      • ‘Basically, they're trying to figure you out and see if you run like prey or stand your ground.’
      • ‘I've spent a lot of time over the past few months trying to figure you out.’
      • ‘But, if you think I am for such an agreement, you haven't figured me out yet.’
      find out, discover, come to know, get to know, work out, make out, fathom, fathom out, become aware of, learn, ferret out, dig out, dig up, establish, fix, determine, settle, decide, verify, make certain of, confirm, deduce, divine, intuit, diagnose, discern, perceive, see, realize, appreciate, identify, pin down, recognize, register, understand, grasp, take in, comprehend
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English (in the senses ‘distinctive shape of a person or thing’, ‘representation of something material or immaterial’, and ‘numerical symbol’, among others): from Old French figure (noun), figurer (verb), from Latin figura ‘shape, figure, form’; related to fingere ‘form, contrive’.

Pronunciation

figure

/ˈfɪɡə/