Fig"ure, v. t. [imp. & p.
p. Figured (?); p. pr. & vb. n.
Figuring.] [F. figurer, L. figurare, fr.
figura. See Figure, n.]
1. To represent by a figure, as to form or mold;
to make an image of, either palpable or ideal; also, to fashion into
a determinate form; to shape.
If love, alas! be pain I bear,
No thought can figure, and no tongue
2. To embellish with design; to adorn with
The vaulty top of heaven
Figured quite o'er with burning meteors.
3. To indicate by numerals; also, to
As through a crystal glass the figured hours
are seen. Dryden.
4. To represent by a metaphor; to signify or
Whose white vestments figure
5. To prefigure; to foreshow.
In this the heaven figures some
6. (Mus.) (a) To write
over or under the bass, as figures or other characters, in order to
indicate the accompanying chords. (b) To
To figure out, to solve; to compute or find
the result of. -- To figure up, to add; to
reckon; to compute the amount of.
Fig"ure (fĭg"?r; 135), n.
[F., figure, L. figura; akin to fingere to form,
shape, feign. See Feign.] 1. The form of
anything; shape; outline; appearance.
Flowers have all exquisite
2. The representation of any form, as by
drawing, painting, modeling, carving, embroidering, etc.; especially,
a representation of the human body; as, a figure in bronze; a
figure cut in marble.
A coin that bears the figure of an
3. A pattern in cloth, paper, or other
manufactured article; a design wrought out in a fabric; as, the
muslin was of a pretty figure.
4. (Geom.) A diagram or drawing; made
to represent a magnitude or the relation of two or more magnitudes; a
surface or space inclosed on all sides; -- called superficial
when inclosed by lines, and solid when inclosed by surfaces;
any arrangement made up of points, lines, angles, surfaces,
5. The appearance or impression made by the
conduct or career of a person; as, a sorry figure.
I made some figure there.
Gentlemen of the best figure in the
6. Distinguished appearance; magnificence;
conspicuous representation; splendor; show.
That he may live in figure and
7. A character or symbol representing a
number; a numeral; a digit; as, 1, 2,3, etc.
8. Value, as expressed in numbers; price; as,
the goods are estimated or sold at a low figure.
With nineteen thousand a year at the very lowest
9. A person, thing, or action, conceived of
as analogous to another person, thing, or action, of which it thus
becomes a type or representative.
Who is the figure of Him that was to
come. Rom. v. 14.
10. (Rhet.) A mode of expressing
abstract or immaterial ideas by words which suggest pictures or
images from the physical world; pictorial language; a trope; hence,
any deviation from the plainest form of statement.
To represent the imagination under the figure
of a wing. Macaulay.
11. (Logic) The form of a syllogism
with respect to the relative position of the middle term.
12. (Dancing) Any one of the several
regular steps or movements made by a dancer.
13. (Astrol.) A horoscope; the diagram
of the aspects of the astrological houses. Johnson.
14. (Music) (a) Any
short succession of notes, either as melody or as a group of chords,
which produce a single complete and distinct impression.
(b) A form of melody or accompaniment kept up
through a strain or passage; a musical phrase or motive; a florid
☞ Figures are often written upon the staff in music to denote
the kind of measure. They are usually in the form of a fraction, the
upper figure showing how many notes of the kind indicated by the
lower are contained in one measure or bar. Thus, 2/4
signifies that the measure contains two quarter notes. The following
are the principal figures used for this purpose: --
Academy figure, Canceled
figures, Lay figure, etc. See under
Academy, Cancel, Lay, etc. --
Figure caster, or Figure flinger,
an astrologer. "This figure caster." Milton. -
- Figure flinging, the practice of
astrology. -- Figure-of-eight knot, a knot
shaped like the figure 8. See Illust. under Knot.
-- Figure painting, a picture of the human
figure, or the act or art of depicting the human figure. --
Figure stone (Min.), agalmatolite.
-- Figure weaving, the art or process of
weaving figured fabrics. -- To cut a figure,
to make a display. [Colloq.] Sir W. Scott.