Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1200-1300
Language: French
Origin: Latin figura, from fingere 'to shape, make'


1 noun
fig‧ure1 S1 W1 [countable]


a) HMN [usually plural] a number representing an amount, especially an official number
unemployment/sales/trade figures
Ohio's employment figures for December
Government figures underestimate the problem.
It's about 30,000 in round figures (=to the nearest 10, 20, 100 etc).
b) HMN a number from 0 to 10, written as a sign rather than a word:
the figure '2'
executives with salaries in six figures (=more than £99,000)
a four/five/six figure number (=a number in the thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands etc)
double figures, single figures

amount of money

BF a particular amount of money
figure of
an estimated figure of $200 million


a) someone who is important or famous in some way
a leading/key/central figure
Several leading figures resigned from the party.
the outstanding political figure of his time
b) someone with a particular type of appearance or character, especially when they are far away or difficult to see:
a tall figure in a hat
Through the window I could see the commanding figure of Mrs Bradshaw.

➔ cult figure

at cult2

woman's body

HBH the shape of a woman's body:
keep/lose your figure (=stay thin or become fat)
Most women have to watch their figure (=be careful not to get fat).

father/mother/authority figure

MP someone who is considered to be like a father etc, or to represent authority, because of their character or behaviour


[plural] British English the activity of adding, multiplying etc numbers [= arithmetic]:
a natural ability with figures
have a head for figures (=be good at arithmetic)

mathematical shape

a geometric shape:
A hexagon is a six-sided figure.


AV a person in a painting or a model of a person:
the figure in the background


TCN written abbreviation fig. a numbered drawing or a diagram in a book

put a figure on it/give an exact figure

to say exactly how much something is worth, or how much or how many of something you are talking about:
It's worth a lot but I couldn't put a figure on it.

a fine figure of a man/woman

HBH someone who is tall and has a good body

a figure of fun

someone who people laugh at

on ice

DSO a pattern or movement in figure skating

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