Definition of figurative in English:


Line breaks: fig¦ura|tive
Pronunciation: /ˈfɪɡ(ə)rətɪv
, -ɡjʊ-/


1Departing from a literal use of words; metaphorical: a figurative expression
More example sentences
  • For example, is the term metaphor itself literal or figurative?
  • Teens comprehend abstract language, such as idioms, figurative language, and metaphors.
  • A figurative remark takes on literal construction, a metaphor is concretized in fact.
imaginative, fanciful, poetic, ornate, literary, flowery, florid
rare tropical, parabolic
2(Of an artist or work of art) representing forms that are recognizably derived from life.
More example sentences
  • The standard was derived from the smaller figurative works on some of the larger paintings and then we kept to that.
  • On the contrary at any given point of time an abstract artist could do figurative work.
  • Duncan creates elegant female forms and her work is figurative, though not representational.


Middle English: from late Latin figurativus, from figurare 'to form or fashion', from figura (see figure).



More example sentences
  • With the kind of muscle, figuratively speaking, that Arnold has, it's possible.
  • Unfortunately they have to cross many boundaries, both literally and figuratively, in this search for truth.
  • Above all, we must not, figuratively speaking, tie their hands when it comes to disciplining their children.


More example sentences
  • Förster's figurativeness never corresponded to the dogmas of socialist realism, and was misunderstood and massively criticised in the early years of the GDR.
  • The works are unified - surprisingly, given the figurativeness of the show - by abstract elements used by all of the artists.
  • That figurativeness was really funny.

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