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

Dictionary results for "figure"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.