Definition of figure-ground in English:

figure-ground

adjective

Psychology Art
  • [attributive] Relating to or denoting the perception of images by the distinction of objects from a background from which they appear to stand out, especially in contexts where this distinction is ambiguous.

    • ‘Like so many figure-ground dilemmas, this was resolved with moderately pleasing results for all concerned.’
    • ‘Although they vary widely in color, touch and composition, most of the paintings feature surfaces completely activated with marks and patterns, so that traditional figure-ground relationships are minimized or eliminated.’
    • ‘The figure-ground relationship here is unstable, with the sleek blue forms sometimes reading as the positive shape against the negative green ground, while at other times the relationship is reversed.’
    • ‘Visual design should be informed by a consideration of the Laws of Perception, including figure-ground contrast, simplicity, proximity, similarity, symmetry and closure.’
    • ‘So while there initially seems to be a figure-ground reversal from one format to the other, in fact all the paintings were made the same way.’

Pronunciation:

figure-ground

/ˈfiɡyərˌɡround/