Definition of figure in US English:

figure

noun

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

    ‘official census figures’
    ‘a figure of 30,000 deaths annually from snakebite’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On Friday came fresh figures on the economy and on retail sales.’
    • ‘Those are not figures that are just plucked out of the air; they are official police figures used to compile statistics.’
    • ‘Though precise figures are unavailable, anecdotal estimates rarely vary.’
    • ‘Use these figures to calculate loss of future business due to customer dissatisfaction.’
    • ‘As is often the case with trade statistics, figures quantifying the value of pirated Caribbean music are difficult to find.’
    • ‘Lambeth has become cleaner and greener, with latest performance figures showing a slight rise in recycling rates.’
    • ‘No attendance figures were released, but only 1,500 of the 7,000 published programmes were sold.’
    • ‘Passenger revenue was calculated using population figures, surveyors' road traffic counts and the passenger rates of similar lines.’
    • ‘The college's intake from state schools is 94 per cent compared with last year's figure of 89 per cent.’
    • ‘The company's latest sales figures are down nearly 8 per cent on a year ago.’
    • ‘All the figures are taken from official statistics, and exclude employees who do less than one hour of unpaid overtime a week.’
    • ‘Similar results this time will mean a much closer election than today's poll figures suggest.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘As a privately held company it did not publish financial performance figures.’
    • ‘The country has nearly 100 million Internet users, according to official figures, and the figure is rising.’
    • ‘The Bank's move came despite today's official figures showing inflation rising to its highest level for two years.’
    • ‘Today's attendance figures at those galleries and exhibitions would have astonished and thrilled curators in the 1960s.’
    • ‘In 1998 there were 52, and last year's figures are likely to be similar.’
    statistic, number, integer, quantity, amount, level, total, sum
    View synonyms
    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.
      ‘their market price runs into five figures’
      in combination ‘a six-figure salary’
      • ‘The cost savings will be between six and seven 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.’
      • ‘One of these youths stole a four-figure sum from me recently and I am now very apprehensive.’
      • ‘Considering that this is aimed at children of ages in single figures, it's not necessarily the most uncomplicated arrangement.’
      • ‘You should be prepared for the possibility of lower investment yields in the future - likely to be in single figures.’
      • ‘Our inflation rate has been in single figures, moving between 2 percent and 4 percent.’
    3. 1.3 An amount of money.
      ‘a figure of two thousand dollars’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The gross for the final session was up 14.2% over last year's figure of $1,160,500.’
      • ‘Within the letter, the figure of ‘$500,000 a year’ is noted repeatedly.’
      price, cost, amount, quantity, value, valuation, quotation, quote, rate
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    4. 1.4figures Arithmetical calculations.
      ‘she has no head for figures’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A natural affinity for figures - he used to help his father's bookkeeper - got him a start in accountancy.’
      • ‘The man thought this over for a few seconds, calculating figures in his head.’
      • ‘I am terrible at maths and even worse at figures, but I trust all my advisers because they are basically friends as well.’
      • ‘Lee took the maps and calibrators and ran a few figures and calculations and looked at the Admiral.’
      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.’
    • ‘The pants really flattered her figure.’
    • ‘At 82, he remains a tall, dashing figure and a serious charmer.’
    • ‘The girls were fashionably attired but not overdressed, with attractive figures and lovely faces.’
    • ‘For artists, the beauty and complexity of the human figure is the prime impetus for painting it.’
    • ‘She will be proud to show her figure as she will pose in sexy lingerie of her choice.’
    • ‘Sally can offer advice on colours and what shapes suit your 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.’
    • ‘It may seem obvious, but when the human figure is portrayed in art, it is either clothed or naked.’
    • ‘He couldn't sleep at night, only thinking of her slim and attractive figure with a good-natured mind.’
    • ‘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.’
    physique, build, frame, body, proportions, torso, shape, form, stature
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A person seen indistinctly, especially at a distance.
      ‘a backpacked figure appeared in the distance’
      • ‘I saw a figure in the distance walking with a pronounced limp.’
      • ‘Bryony spotted the lone figure emerging from the water, the current lapping at his body.’
      • ‘In an answer to her question, Rena saw a cloaked figure standing before her.’
      • ‘The streets were dark and all but deserted; we only saw two figures off in the distance in the dim streets.’
      • ‘As Dan turned, the slim figure hurled him bodily against the far wall.’
      • ‘Occasionally, we spot a lone figure emerging on the horizon.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By the time the dust died down, they were but four figures on the distant horizon.’
      • ‘Elizabeth looked up and past Jesse, seeing a tall dark figure appear from the elevator.’
      • ‘As she rode out of the woods she noticed a lone figure sitting on the white fence near the stable.’
      • ‘Mark's heart was pounding as a hooded figure appeared in front of him.’
      • ‘The three survivors stood in silence as a lone figure appeared in the dark shadows of the doorway.’
      • ‘She screamed even louder when the door suddenly opened and a dark figure suddenly appeared.’
      • ‘She squinted suddenly at what appeared to be two figures in the distance.’
      • ‘Derick looked up to see a shadowy, cloaked figure.’
      • ‘When I did awake I noticed a shadowy figure standing over me.’
      • ‘A shadowy, hooded figure emerged from the forest and approached me.’
      • ‘As Stefansson made his way across the ice and snow, he saw figures in the distance approaching him.’
      • ‘There was no one nearby but she saw figures running in the distance.’
      silhouette, outline, shape, form, profile, shadow
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 A representation of a human or animal form in drawing or sculpture.
      ‘starkly painted figures’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 sculpture consists of two figures facing one another, the one on the left male, and the one on the right female.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His other sculptures are figures of saints, the Holy Virgin, Christ and of ordinary people.’
      • ‘Those with painting skills display their talent by drawing eye-catching figures in attractive hues.’
      • ‘Small clay figures, human and animal, were modelled and placed as offerings on mountain peak sanctuaries.’
      • ‘The modeling and outline of the figures showed sculptural solidity.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But Ghirlandaio does not depict busts or statues, his figures are shown as though alive within an illusionistic setting.’
      • ‘Although Monet mostly painted nature scenes, he sometimes included human figures in his paintings.’
      • ‘Sumida pottery is a heavy, brightly glazed pottery and often has human and animal figures attached as reliefs.’
      • ‘His human and animal figures, reduced to mounds, slabs and tubes, possess a quiet grace.’
      • ‘Surrealistic and abstract human figures instead dominate his oil paintings.’
      • ‘As a child, he had sculpted small animal figures from riverbank clay.’
      • ‘The figures lack the sculptural quality of those in the Asnieres painting.’
      • ‘For, in his frames, there is always the presence of figures blending into each other - forever in a rush to complement each other.’
      • ‘The sculptures are mainly human and animal figures, although one is based on cartoon character Shrek.’
      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’
    • ‘Later that month as public concern about the costs of the dome grew Sanchia Berg spoke to leading figures in the visitor attraction industry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His chief European rival, Saint-Exupéry, was a complex but more attractive figure.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Among those who died in the hijacked planes were a television producer, an actor, sports officials, media figures and captains of industry.’
    • ‘It was decided that portraits of historical figures who have made important contributions to culture and art should be sculptured.’
    • ‘Certain literary figures have attracted special scrutiny, in recent years none more so than Samuel Johnson.’
    • ‘He became a leading figure in the early working class movement in Britain.’
    • ‘Many of Ireland's most prominent historical figures are contained in the archive, as well as pictures of Ireland.’
    • ‘Cobain became the figurehead, the cult figure, the hero to some.’
    • ‘In many cases it is perfectly reasonable to accept the conclusions of authority figures one trusts.’
    • ‘The main figure on whom Baxter relied was Randall.’
    • ‘But Johnson and Boswell were not the only literary figures to be attracted to these western islands.’
    • ‘Ibrahim said the draft bill calls for schools to form committees with parents, local government officials and public figures.’
    • ‘Abacus has brought out paperback titles relating to two important figures in twentieth century intellectual thought.’
    • ‘An opera forgotten for more than 100 hundred years tells the story of one of Skipton's most important historical figures.’
    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 geometric figures’
    • ‘The simplest way to look at it is this: actually, neither of the two larger figures shown are triangles.’
    • ‘Odd shapes and geometric figures swam in and out of Dawn's consciousness.’
    • ‘He observed that ideas of shapes or figures, like the triangle, were ideas of things he had not invented or conjured up.’
    • ‘In particular he proved that the sphere was the solid figure of greatest surface area for a given volume.’
    • ‘Now if you thought these lines referred to geometric figures, you would not be too far wrong.’
    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.’
      • ‘The book utilizes tables and figures effectively to illustrate the main concepts of each chapter.’
      • ‘Lesions are often associated with main leaf veins (Figure 2A and 2B).’
      • ‘Figure 1b shows the results obtained for = 0.001 with the swap step.’
      • ‘The data from each plate were then graphed and analyzed (Figure 1A).’
      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 square dancing or synchronized swimming, 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Congratulations also to Spa and Glenflesk also for winning the All Ireland also in set dancing and figure dancing.’
      • ‘Included are figure dancing, solo dancing, recitations, music and novelty acts.’
      • ‘Most Irish figure dancing or step dancing is carried on behind closed doors.’
      • ‘It has dance movements, or figures, that might remind you of traditional square dancing.’
    4. 4.4archaic The external form or shape of something.
  • 5Music
    A short succession of notes producing a single impression.

    • ‘Melodic figures are treated circularly, giving the piece a minimalist sound.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Every melodic figure had its replica, every phrase, its counterpoise in his music.’
    • ‘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]
  • 1Be a significant and noticeable part of something.

    ‘the issue of nuclear policy figured prominently in the talks’
    • ‘It feels as if Haentjens has things to say about Plath that don't figure in this novel.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This is a subway stop that just doesn't figure in the mythology of New York.’
    • ‘The Clark holdings played no small part in these events; they also figured prominently in the critical counterpunch.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now, however, imagine her rescue figuring on the nightly analysis slot of some channel.’
    • ‘How well you handle them will figure in any estimate of your future potential.’
    • ‘But pressure is integral to F1 and fear has failed to figure in the careers of either driver.’
    • ‘In the ensuing decade, Performance has regularly figured in lists of the best British films.’
    • ‘Class interest barely figures in the totalitarian approach.’
    • ‘This scandal has even figured in the American presidential election.’
    • ‘Figures due out on November 21 might be instructive but a merger deal is not thought likely to figure in the statement.’
    • ‘The state of the economy and of the overall battle against terrorism should also figure in a major way.’
    • ‘Women's boxing is yet to figure in the Olympics but is gaining ground.’
    • ‘Here we are confronted with the first of many social dilemmas which are to figure in the young Carver's life.’
    • ‘The Connemara Market at Palayam, a village market-place under a tree and even a modern market figured among the paintings.’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, race figured prominently in the cases in the 1994 study.’
    • ‘Political parties have always figured prominently in Congress since the earliest days of the American Republic.’
    • ‘Scotland may figure in the government's compromise deal, though not for the right reasons.’
    feature, appear, be featured, be mentioned, be referred to
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    1. 1.1 (of a person) play a significant role in a situation or event.
      ‘he figured largely in opposition to the bill’
      • ‘Men in York, meanwhile, reach, on average, 75.7 and don't figure in the top 50 at all.’
      • ‘Teenager James Reveley, son of trainer Keith, and grandson of Mary, can figure in the spotlight at Chester tomorrow.’
      • ‘Of the two former Celtic managers Jansen, currently director of scouting at Feyenoord, may figure in the search again.’
      • ‘The country's former king is likely to figure in any such equation.’
      • ‘Garciaparra may ultimately figure in a comeback story destined for Hollywood.’
      • ‘The Clydesdale all-rounder has yet to figure in the plans of new coach Peter Drinnen.’
      • ‘An exemplary soldier, freedom fighter, potter or weaver could also figure in the list.’
      • ‘Scott McGarrahan will figure in the mix once he is re-signed after cap room is cleared.’
      • ‘What he could say for sure, as of last Wednesday, was that Barry Ferguson would not figure in a summer deal to free up cash.’
      • ‘Chris Burgess, a dog in his two years at Duke, is eligible and will figure in the mix.’
      • ‘Although race walking is his forte, he has figured in this event a number of times and finished third three years ago in a time of 20:20.’
      • ‘In the middle and long distance events Sligo athletes figured prominently in almost every distance from 300 metres to 3,000 metres.’
      • ‘Although he is unlikely to figure in the first team this season, Smith will be looking to impress Francis and secure his future at the club.’
      • ‘Half-back Mark Dooley will figure in Sunday's trip to Doncaster Dragons after teaming up with the Wasps this week.’
      • ‘A more familiar name to Yankee fans and foes who may figure in their bullpen plans is lefty Randy Choate.’
      • ‘Constable is one of the few major artists to figure in Bermingham's narrative.’
      • ‘One of them, Argentinian striker Gustavo Fuentes, may even figure in the squad to face Rangers this evening.’
      • ‘These girls were expected to be a force in this competition, but they will need to up their game if they are going to figure in the final shake down.’
      • ‘Designers drool over her body and she routinely figures on International Best Dressed lists.’
      • ‘If Craig Gordon wants to figure in the Scottish squad with long-term confidence it looks like he will have to move to an Old Firm club.’
    2. 1.2 (of a fictional character) play a part in a novel, play, or movie.
      ‘the four characters who figure in Ridley's play’
      • ‘Isolated characters figure in two of the most interesting of the several Asian films.’
  • 2North American with object Calculate or work out (an amount or value) arithmetically.

    • ‘The change in tree cover over time was figured by comparing Landsat TM satellite images from 1985 and 2001.’
    • ‘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.’
    calculate, work out, total, sum, reckon, compute, enumerate, determine, evaluate, quantify, assess, count, add up, put a figure on, tally, totalize, gauge
    View synonyms
  • 3North American informal with clause Think, consider, or expect to be the case.

    with object ‘for years, teachers had figured him for a dullard’
    ‘I figure that wearing a suit makes you look like a bank clerk’
    • ‘He figured this person would make an excellent singer.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Miriam left for school an hour early because she figured the peace protesters would make it hard to get to class.’
    • ‘I figure that if I stand around and look helpless, someone will at least offer to buy me a drink.’
    • ‘I figured people might be getting bored of reading about me all the time’
    • ‘From the sound of his voice I figured the person who walked in was young.’
    • ‘I figured people would be asking that question, but what you see in the movie is kind of our take on that.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I figured the radical transformation of the world's energy supply would be of personal interest to them.’
    • ‘I'd done it a few times, but figured the money wasn't really worth it.’
    • ‘Investors figure that the purchaser will pay a high price for the company.’
    • ‘They figure that the more control they have over applications, the more they'll be able to charge.’
    • ‘Sighing heavily, Joan figured this conversation had gone on long enough.’
    • ‘There were actually a lot of people outside, which was weird since it was a Saturday and I figured people were tired.’
    • ‘I figured this last revelation would give him something to think about, but he barely flinched.’
    • ‘I figured this idea could make me a millionaire, but it looks like someone beat me to it.’
    • ‘It's not exactly revelatory information, but I figured someone out there might find it useful.’
    • ‘I stood up, walked around, drank some water and figured it was just a passing phase.’
    • ‘They figured most people would go there at one point.’
    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 logical and unsurprising.
      ‘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.’
      • ‘That figured and didn't surprise him, though he wished Harry would just have a normal conversation instead of locking him in a room.’
      • ‘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.’
      make sense, be understandable, seem reasonable, stand to reason, be to be expected, be logical, follow, add up, stand up, hold up
      View synonyms
  • 4with object Represent (something) 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.

      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘He looked like an advert for ‘cricket trousers for the fuller figure’, but this portly batsman was no figure of fun.’
      • ‘Briefly enjoying a career as a figure of fun, the bankrupt former minister now hardly figures at all.’
      • ‘Hair thinning, waists thickening, faces falling, they are held up to us as figures 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      figure of fun, object of ridicule, dupe, butt, fool, joke, standing joke, everybody's fool, stooge
      View synonyms
  • 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.’
      • ‘He shops and cooks for her - ‘I fell in love and lost my figure’ - and she is deliriously happy.’
      • ‘Alex you never pass up a meal and it still amazes me how you can keep your figure!’
      • ‘If she wants to become an actress, she needs to keep her figure.’
      • ‘She always managed to keep her figure somehow.’
      • ‘I tease her sometimes about how she keeps 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!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mother, I can hardly expect to attract Evan's attention if I don't keep my figure.’
      • ‘Why worry about life - you'll only end up losing your figure!’

Phrasal Verbs

  • figure on

    • Count or rely on something happening or being the case in the future.

      ‘anyone thinking of salmon fishing should figure on paying $200 a day’
      • ‘I had figured on Sunday being the busy drive day - I guess I wasn't alone in that assessment.’
      • ‘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 was sure it wouldn't matter to him that I was figuring on ditching her as soon as I was let out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mom, about the slumber party how many guests were you figuring on?’
      • ‘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 wasn't expecting another plane, I figured on a car to take us to Hot Springs,’ Muriel said.’
      • ‘We weren't counting how many people would be bereft if we died, because we weren't figuring on dying.’
      plan on, calculate on, count on, rely on, bank on, bargain on, depend on, pin one's hopes on
      View synonyms
  • figure something out

    • Solve or discover the cause of a problem.

      ‘he was trying to figure out why the camera wasn't working’
      • ‘And we will have figured it out for no other reason than to know.’
      • ‘Now, assuming I can still sleep because I'm thinking about that, when I wake up it will be figured 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Finally, I would say, please understand that I am still figuring this thing out, just like everybody else.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's a personality quirk, I know, but I enjoy taking something and making it whole and figuring things 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
      View synonyms
  • figure someone out

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

      • ‘When she figures him out, she will understand herself.’
      • ‘Basically, they're trying to figure you out and see if you run like prey or stand your ground.’
      • ‘I imagine that strangers have even a harder time figuring him out.’
      • ‘But if someone's trying to figure you out, that is hard.’
      • ‘But, if you think I am for such an agreement, you haven't figured me out yet.’
      • ‘We told her that she might not want to talk to us because she might go crazy trying to figure us out.’
      • ‘It seems we need to figure someone out before we strike up a conversation.’
      • ‘‘I really can't figure you out,’ I say to him on one of my rare visits back into that dark office.’
      • ‘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.’
      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

/ˈfiɡyər//ˈfɪɡjər/