Definition of figural in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfɪɡjʊr(ə)l/


1 another term for figurative.
Example sentences
  • Fading in and out of these plasterlike surfaces are Lee's personal hieroglyphs of drawn and painted figural and insect forms.
  • Sears continued to win significant prizes for her figural work throughout the decade, but she also began to turn her attention toward another mode of artistic expression-photography.
  • In this case, internal evidence indicates that the writing, ornament, and figural paintings were all executed by a single hand.
1.1(In postmodernist writing) relating to or denoting a form of signification which relies on imagery and association rather than on rational and linguistic concepts.
Example sentences
  • Our received knowledge is that film is primarily a ‘visual’ medium; ergo, its represented references and appeal to most of our other senses are understood as figural rather than literal.
  • Did you begin with the notion of a ‘sonnet’ sequence and use it as the container into which figural patterns were discharged, or did the writing seem to insist on certain formal conditions as you proceeded and revised?
  • Various motifs, figural echoes, and symmetries have a fugitive presence in the film: they come and go, never entirely gathering all the fragments into a reassuring whole.


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from late Latin figuralis, from figura 'form, shape' (see figure).

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