figure


figure
figure n
1 *number, numeral, digit, integer
Analogous words: symbol, *character
2 *form, shape, configuration, conformation
Analogous words: *outline, contour, profile, silhouette: *character, symbol, sign, mark
3 Figure, pattern, design, motif, device are comparable when they mean a unit in a decorative composition (as in an ornamented textile or fabric) consisting of a representation of a natural, conventionalized, or geometrical shape or a combination of such representations.
Figure commonly refers to a small, simple unit which is repeated or is one of those repeated over an entire surface. A figure may be one of the outlines associated with geometry (as a triangle, diamond, pentagon, or circle) or such an outline filled in with color, lines, or a representation of another kind; it may, however, be a natural or conventionalized representation of a natural form (as a leaf, flower, or animal)
{

an Oriental rug with geometrical figures in blue and red

}
{

a silk print with a small figure

}
{

the wallpaper has a well-spaced figure of a spray of rosebuds

}
{

carved with figures strange and sweet, all made out of the carver's brain— Coleridge

}
Pattern may be used in place of figure
{

arranged in a series of simple and pleasing patterns—diamonds, quincunxes, hexagons— Huxley

}
but figure is not interchangeable with the more inclusive senses of pattern. The latter term is applicable not only to the simplest repeated unit, or figure, or to a larger repeated unit involving several related figures but also to the whole plan of decoration or adornment
{

the pattern of a lace tablecloth

}
{

the pattern of a rug

}
Also, pattern may be used of other things than those which are visible, objective works of art and craftsmanship but which nevertheless can be viewed or studied as having diverse parts or elements brought together so as to present an intelligible and distinctive whole
{

the true pattern of the campaign revealed itself after the first week

}
{

when he said pattern, he did not mean the pattern on a wallpaper; he meant the pattern of lifeSackvilleWest

}
{

as skepticism grows, the pattern of human conduct inevitably changes— Krutch

}
{

the nearness of friends to those days, the familiar, unchanging streets, the convivial clubs, the constant companionship helped to knit the strands of life into a close and well-defined patternRepplier

}
Design (see also PLAN, INTENTION) emphasizes drawing and arrangement and attention to line and the handling of figures and colors; it often specifically denotes a single unit (figure or pattern) which reveals these qualities
{

branches and leaves were disposed, not as combinations of color in mass, but as designs in line— Binyon

}
{

your golden filaments in fair design across my duller fiber— Millay

}
Motif (see also SUBJECT 2) is frequently used in the decorative arts for a figure or a design which stands out not necessarily as the only one but as the leading one which gives the distinctive character of the whole
{

in lace for ecclesiastical use a sheaf of wheat is often the motif of the pattern

}
Device applies usually to a figure that bears no likeness to anything in nature but is the result of imagination or fancy. Unlike the other terms, it does not exclusively apply to a decorative unit, though it occurs frequently in that application
{

set in the close-grained wood were quaint devices; patterns in ambers, and in the clouded green of jades— Lowell

}
figure vb cast, *add, sum, total, tot, foot
Analogous words: compute, *calculate, reckon, estimate: *count, enumerate, number

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • figure — [ figyr ] n. f. • Xe; lat. figura « forme » I ♦ 1 ♦ Vx Forme extérieure d un corps. ⇒ aspect. Des outils « dont il ne connaît ni l usage, ni le nom, ni la figure » (La Bruyère). ♢ Mod. N avoir plus figure humaine : être si mal en point que la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • figuré — figure [ figyr ] n. f. • Xe; lat. figura « forme » I ♦ 1 ♦ Vx Forme extérieure d un corps. ⇒ aspect. Des outils « dont il ne connaît ni l usage, ni le nom, ni la figure » (La Bruyère). ♢ Mod. N avoir plus figure humaine : être si mal …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Figure — Fig ure (f[i^]g [ u]r; 135), n. [F., figure, L. figura; akin to fingere to form, shape, feign. See {Feign}.] 1. The form of anything; shape; outline; appearance. [1913 Webster] Flowers have all exquisite figures. Bacon. [1913 Webster] 2. The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • figure — FIGURE. s. f. La forme exterieure d une chose materielle. La figure du corps humain. cet animal, ce poisson est d une estrange figure, voilà une plante d une figure bien bizarre. une estrange figure d homme. une plaisante figure, une sotte figure …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Figure 8 — might refer to: *Figure 8, an expression describing a Lissajous curve that resembles the number 8 *Figure 8, a circle that turns around upon itself, on its side is a symbol for infinity *Figure eight knot, (also called a Flemish Knot), is a type… …   Wikipedia

  • figuré — figuré, ée (fi gu ré, rée) part. passé. 1°   Qui est fait selon une certaine figure.    Terme d anatomie. Élément anatomique figuré, se dit par opposition à éléments anatomiques amorphes ou matières amorphes.    Plan figuré d une maison, d une… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Figure — may refer to:*A shape, drawing, or representation *Figure 8 *A person s figure *Miniature representation of something **Action figure, in arts *a number *a type of person, as in Christ figureWriting *a figure in writing is a type of floating… …   Wikipedia

  • figure — [fig′yər, figyoor; ] often, esp. for v., & Brit always [, fig′ər] n. [ME < OFr < L figura < fingere, to form, shape: see DOUGH] 1. the outline or shape of something; form 2. the shape of the human body; human form 3. a person, esp. one… …   English World dictionary

  • Figure — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Figure 8 — Album par Elliott Smith Sortie 18 avril 2000 Durée 52:06 Genre Rock indépendant Producteur Elliott Smith Tom Rothrock Rob Schnapf …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.