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’
    • ‘Use these figures to calculate loss of future business due to customer dissatisfaction.’
    • ‘The college's intake from state schools is 94 per cent compared with last year's figure of 89 per cent.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Does he have any figures on the increase of respiratory illness?’
    • ‘Passenger revenue was calculated using population figures, surveyors' road traffic counts and the passenger rates of similar lines.’
    • ‘Those are not figures that are just plucked out of the air; they are official police figures used to compile statistics.’
    • ‘No attendance figures were released, but only 1,500 of the 7,000 published programmes were sold.’
    • ‘As a privately held company it did not publish financial performance figures.’
    • ‘All the figures are taken from official statistics, and exclude employees who do less than one hour of unpaid overtime a week.’
    • ‘Though precise figures are unavailable, anecdotal estimates rarely vary.’
    • ‘Lambeth has become cleaner and greener, with latest performance figures showing a slight rise in recycling rates.’
    • ‘In 1978, financial figures revealed that the average house price in London was £16, 731.’
    • ‘As is often the case with trade statistics, figures quantifying the value of pirated Caribbean music are difficult to find.’
    • ‘The company's latest sales figures are down nearly 8 per cent on a year ago.’
    • ‘In 1998 there were 52, and last year's figures are likely to be similar.’
    • ‘Similar results this time will mean a much closer election than today's poll figures suggest.’
    • ‘Today's attendance figures at those galleries and exhibitions would have astonished and thrilled curators in the 1960s.’
    • ‘On Friday came fresh figures on the economy and on retail sales.’
    • ‘It cites official figures that show crime rising steadily over 40 years.’
    • ‘The Bank's move came despite today's official figures showing inflation rising to its highest level for two years.’
    • ‘The country has nearly 100 million Internet users, according to official figures, and the figure is rising.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Our inflation rate has been in single figures, moving between 2 percent and 4 percent.’
      • ‘One of these youths stole a four-figure sum from me recently and I am now very apprehensive.’
      • ‘You should be prepared for the possibility of lower investment yields in the future - likely to be in single figures.’
      • ‘Considering that this is aimed at children of ages in single figures, it's not necessarily the most uncomplicated arrangement.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The cost savings will be between six and seven figures.’
    3. 1.3 An amount of money:
      ‘a figure of two thousand pounds’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.’
      • ‘His father sent him off to college to study business administration, but Gallagher says he wasn't any good at figures.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
    • ‘Amy's figure was very slim, with long legs, arms, and a slender neck.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At 82, he remains a tall, dashing figure and a serious charmer.’
    • ‘She will be proud to show her figure as she will pose in sexy lingerie of her choice.’
    • ‘It may seem obvious, but when the human figure is portrayed in art, it is either clothed or naked.’
    • ‘For artists, the beauty and complexity of the human figure is the prime impetus for painting it.’
    • ‘The girls were fashionably attired but not overdressed, with attractive figures and lovely faces.’
    • ‘Sally can offer advice on colours and what shapes suit your figure.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He couldn't sleep at night, only thinking of her slim and attractive figure with a good-natured mind.’
    • ‘The pants really flattered her figure.’
    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’
      • ‘Derick looked up to see a shadowy, cloaked figure.’
      • ‘I saw a figure in the distance walking with a pronounced limp.’
      • ‘Mark's heart was pounding as a hooded figure appeared in front of him.’
      • ‘When I did awake I noticed a shadowy figure standing over me.’
      • ‘In an answer to her question, Rena saw a cloaked figure standing before her.’
      • ‘By the time the dust died down, they were but four figures on the distant horizon.’
      • ‘As Stefansson made his way across the ice and snow, he saw figures in the distance approaching him.’
      • ‘Through the blur of the falling rain, Tracy notices a hooded figure dressed in black.’
      • ‘The streets were dark and all but deserted; we only saw two figures off in the distance in the dim streets.’
      • ‘There was no one nearby but she saw figures running in the distance.’
      • ‘As Dan turned, the slim figure hurled him bodily against the far wall.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Occasionally, we spot a lone figure emerging on the horizon.’
      • ‘Bryony spotted the lone figure emerging from the water, the current lapping at his body.’
      • ‘A dark figure emerged from one side of the street and another from the other side.’
      • ‘Elizabeth looked up and past Jesse, seeing a tall dark figure appear from the elevator.’
      • ‘She squinted suddenly at what appeared to be two figures in the distance.’
      • ‘As she rode out of the woods she noticed a lone figure sitting on the white fence near the stable.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His human and animal figures, reduced to mounds, slabs and tubes, possess a quiet grace.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The modeling and outline of the figures showed sculptural solidity.’
      • ‘The figures lack the sculptural quality of those in the Asnieres painting.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Surrealistic and abstract human figures instead dominate his oil paintings.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Painter John Wesley is known for his flatly painted, cartoonish canvases of figures and animals.’
      • ‘Small clay figures, human and animal, were modelled and placed as offerings on mountain peak sanctuaries.’
      • ‘Like Manet, Degas painted figures in the studio rather than outdoors.’
      • ‘It contains twenty-eight tapestries, 118 sculpted figures and forty-one paintings.’
      • ‘The sculptures are mainly human and animal figures, although one is based on cartoon character Shrek.’
      • ‘His pursuit of beauty continues to this day, as he quietly goes about his daily tasks of carving stone sculptures and casting concrete figures.’
      • ‘The sculpture consists of two figures facing one another, the one on the left male, and the one on the right female.’
      • ‘His other sculptures are figures of saints, the Holy Virgin, Christ and of ordinary people.’
      • ‘For, in his frames, there is always the presence of figures blending into each other - forever in a rush to complement each other.’
      • ‘But Ghirlandaio does not depict busts or statues, his figures are shown as though alive within an illusionistic setting.’
      • ‘Sumida pottery is a heavy, brightly glazed pottery and often has human and animal figures attached as reliefs.’
      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’
    • ‘Among those who died in the hijacked planes were a television producer, an actor, sports officials, media figures and captains of industry.’
    • ‘Many of Ireland's most prominent historical figures are contained in the archive, as well as pictures of Ireland.’
    • ‘His chief European rival, Saint-Exupéry, was a complex but more attractive figure.’
    • ‘In many cases it is perfectly reasonable to accept the conclusions of authority figures one trusts.’
    • ‘Certain literary figures have attracted special scrutiny, in recent years none more so than Samuel Johnson.’
    • ‘Ibrahim said the draft bill calls for schools to form committees with parents, local government officials and public figures.’
    • ‘It was decided that portraits of historical figures who have made important contributions to culture and art should be sculptured.’
    • ‘Cultural heroes are important figures in the folklore of Polynesian societies.’
    • ‘He's up there with Jacques Chirac in terms of being a durable figure on the world stage.’
    • ‘He's not the most attractive public figure but he certainly isn't the least.’
    • ‘Later that month as public concern about the costs of the dome grew Sanchia Berg spoke to leading figures in the visitor attraction industry.’
    • ‘Cobain became the figurehead, the cult figure, the hero to some.’
    • ‘A native of the Auvergne, he became a leading figure in the regionalist movement in France.’
    • ‘But Johnson and Boswell were not the only literary figures to be attracted to these western islands.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Fraenkel, von Neumann, Bernays and Gödel are all important figures in this development.’
    • ‘An opera forgotten for more than 100 hundred years tells the story of one of Skipton's most important historical figures.’
    • ‘Abacus has brought out paperback titles relating to two important figures in twentieth century intellectual thought.’
    • ‘The main figure on whom Baxter relied was Randall.’
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 text is well illustrated with excellent diagrams, sketches and figures.’
      • ‘Figure 1b shows the results obtained for = 0.001 with the swap step.’
      • ‘The book utilizes tables and figures effectively to illustrate the main concepts of each chapter.’
      • ‘The data from each plate were then graphed and analyzed (Figure 1A).’
      • ‘Lesions are often associated with main leaf veins (Figure 2A and 2B).’
      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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    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.
      • ‘The figures of these dances mapped a circuitous route back to Ireland - not just an imagined return but an embodied recovery.’
      • ‘Included are figure dancing, solo dancing, recitations, music and novelty acts.’
      • ‘Congratulations also to Spa and Glenflesk also for winning the All Ireland also in set dancing and figure dancing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Every year, during the figure dancing season, each class has an opportunity to host a Feis.’
      • ‘Most Irish figure dancing or step dancing is carried on behind closed doors.’
    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.’
    • ‘Their textures are dominated by right-hand melodies against chordal accompaniment figures.’
    • ‘Every melodic figure had its replica, every phrase, its counterpoise in his music.’
    • ‘When the broad flowing melody is allowed to return, that is eventually interrupted with a striking five note figure for muted brass.’
    • ‘Warm melodic figures are juxtaposed with harsher percussive patterns, setting up some fascinating contrasts in sound.’
  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Clark holdings played no small part in these events; they also figured prominently in the critical counterpunch.’
    • ‘Class interest barely figures in the totalitarian approach.’
    • ‘Women's boxing is yet to figure in the Olympics but is gaining ground.’
    • ‘Figures due out on November 21 might be instructive but a merger deal is not thought likely to figure in the statement.’
    • ‘This is a subway stop that just doesn't figure in the mythology of New York.’
    • ‘This scandal has even figured in the American presidential election.’
    • ‘The Connemara Market at Palayam, a village market-place under a tree and even a modern market figured among the paintings.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But pressure is integral to F1 and fear has failed to figure in the careers of either driver.’
    • ‘The state of the economy and of the overall battle against terrorism should also figure in a major way.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, race figured prominently in the cases in the 1994 study.’
    • ‘It feels as if Haentjens has things to say about Plath that don't figure in this novel.’
    • ‘Now, however, imagine her rescue figuring on the nightly analysis slot of some channel.’
    • ‘Political parties have always figured prominently in Congress since the earliest days of the American Republic.’
    • ‘In the ensuing decade, Performance has regularly figured in lists of the best British films.’
    • ‘Scotland may figure in the government's compromise deal, though not for the right reasons.’
    • ‘How well you handle them will figure in any estimate of your future potential.’
    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’
    • ‘You won't even have to rack your brains over calculating taxes since they've already figured it out for you on the menu.’
    • ‘I figure that a bodybuilder has to eat at least six times a day to grow, which is 42 meals a week.’
    • ‘The change in tree cover over time was figured by comparing Landsat TM satellite images from 1985 and 2001.’
    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’
    • ‘From the sound of his voice I figured the person who walked in was young.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They figured most people would go there at one point.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I figured people would be asking that question, but what you see in the movie is kind of our take on that.’
    • ‘I figured this idea could make me a millionaire, but it looks like someone beat me to it.’
    • ‘He figured this person would make an excellent singer.’
    • ‘I stood up, walked around, drank some water and figured it was just a passing phase.’
    • ‘Wiley figured the water level must have risen from all the rain they had received the day before.’
    • ‘I figured this last revelation would give him something to think about, but he barely flinched.’
    • ‘Sighing heavily, Joan figured this conversation had gone on long enough.’
    • ‘I figured people might be getting bored of reading about me all the time’
    • ‘I figured the radical transformation of the world's energy supply would be of personal interest to them.’
    • ‘They figure that the more control they have over applications, the more they'll be able to charge.’
    • ‘It's not exactly revelatory information, but I figured someone out there might find it useful.’
    • ‘I figure that if I stand around and look helpless, someone will at least offer to buy me a drink.’
    • ‘Investors figure that the purchaser will pay a high price for the company.’
    • ‘I'd done it a few times, but figured the money wasn't really worth it.’
    • ‘Miriam left for school an hour early because she figured the peace protesters would make it hard to get to class.’
    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’
      • ‘Sure, that figures, if you're going to drive with that kind of load at high speed you're bound to damage something.’
      • ‘Given the turmoil in the auction world, it figures that the firm would be looking for new, larger quarters.’
      • ‘It would figure that this great hog, this glorified genre gourmand, would want more.’
      • ‘That figured and didn't surprise him, though he wished Harry would just have a normal conversation instead of locking him in a room.’
      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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  • 4[with 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.’
    • ‘There is something very odd about the way the revolution is figured, and the oddness goes beyond the closing scene.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
      • ‘The shapes are highly varied - cylinders, prisms, animals - and the designs range from abstract patterns to figured images of people and animals.’
      • ‘It has superbly figured timber, a majestic curvaceous profile and spectacular mounts that echo in gilt-bronze the carved detail on the jewel cabinet.’

Phrases

  • figure of fun

    • A person who is considered ridiculous.

      • ‘Hair thinning, waists thickening, faces falling, they are held up to us as figures of fun.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Briefly enjoying a career as a figure of fun, the bankrupt former minister now hardly figures at all.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He looked like an advert for ‘cricket trousers for the fuller figure’, but this portly batsman was no figure of fun.’
      • ‘Put like that, he doesn't seem much like a figure of fun.’
      • ‘They started out as figures of fun, but I felt their perspectives ought to be as valid as anyone else's in the book.’
      • ‘He can't do anything else; he's impotent, useless, obsolete, a figure of fun even to the reader.’
      • ‘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.

      • ‘Alex you never pass up a meal and it still amazes me how you can keep your figure!’
      • ‘Mother, I can hardly expect to attract Evan's attention if I don't keep my 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!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She always managed to keep her figure somehow.’
      • ‘I tease her sometimes about how she keeps her figure.’
      • ‘She wasn't well-educated, had no profession and had lost her figure and gone to fat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Why worry about life - you'll only end up losing your figure!’
  • put a figure on

    • Give a price or exact number for.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I wouldn't go as far as putting a figure on it though.’
      • ‘But the reason I shouldn't put a figure on it, is that I don't run every business in the country.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But he was reluctant to put a figure on the reduced price.’
      • ‘British insurers said it was too early for the London market to put a figure on the claims.’
      • ‘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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I was sure it wouldn't matter to him that I was figuring on ditching her as soon as I was let out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mom, about the slumber party how many guests were you figuring on?’
      • ‘I had figured on Sunday being the busy drive day - I guess I wasn't alone in that assessment.’
      • ‘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 was figuring on leaving the leftovers in the break room in case anyone wanted a snack.’
      • ‘We weren't counting how many people would be bereft if we died, because we weren't figuring on dying.’
      • ‘Protecting the nation from a dictator was not something they figured on having to do when they were planning to build a new nation.’
      plan on, calculate on, count on, rely on, bank on, bargain on, depend on, pin one's hopes on
      anticipate, expect to, take for granted, take as read
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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’
      • ‘Most jurors like to believe that they can really figure this whole puzzle out a little better than the lawyers can.’
      • ‘And we will have figured it out for no other reason than to know.’
      • ‘It's a personality quirk, I know, but I enjoy taking something and making it whole and figuring things out.’
      • ‘Now, assuming I can still sleep because I'm thinking about that, when I wake up it will be figured out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Finally, I would say, please understand that I am still figuring this thing out, just like everybody else.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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
      understand, comprehend, see, grasp, get the hang of, get the drift of
      calculate, compute, reckon, assess
      make head or tail of, twig, crack
      suss out
      View synonyms
  • figure someone out

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

      • ‘As for the other guy - you'll figure him out soon enough.’
      • ‘I've spent a lot of time over the past few months trying to figure you out.’
      • ‘Basically, they're trying to figure you out and see if you run like prey or stand your ground.’
      • ‘It seems we need to figure someone out before we strike up a conversation.’
      • ‘When she figures him out, she will understand herself.’
      • ‘We told her that she might not want to talk to us because she might go crazy trying to figure us out.’
      • ‘I imagine that strangers have even a harder time figuring him out.’
      • ‘‘I really can't figure you out,’ I say to him on one of my rare visits back into that dark office.’
      • ‘But, if you think I am for such an agreement, you haven't figured me out yet.’
      • ‘But if someone's trying to figure you out, that is hard.’
      find out, discover, come to know, get to know, work out, make 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/