Figurate Fig"ur*ate, a. [L. figuratus, p. p. of figurare. See {Figure}.] 1. Of a definite form or figure. [1913 Webster]

Plants are all figurate and determinate, which inanimate bodies are not. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

2. Figurative; metaphorical. [Obs.] --Bale. [1913 Webster]

3. (Mus.) Florid; figurative; involving passing discords by the freer melodic movement of one or more parts or voices in the harmony; as, figurate counterpoint or descant. [1913 Webster]

{Figurate counterpoint} or {Figurate descant} (Mus.), that which is not simple, or in which the parts do not move together tone for tone, but in which freer movement of one or more parts mingles passing discords with the harmony; -- called also {figural}, {figurative}, and {figured counterpoint} or {descant} (although the term figured is more commonly applied to a bass with numerals written above or below to indicate the other notes of the harmony).

{Figurate numbers} (Math.), numbers, or series of numbers, formed from any arithmetical progression in which the first term is a unit, and the difference a whole number, by taking the first term, and the sums of the first two, first three, first four, etc., as the successive terms of a new series, from which another may be formed in the same manner, and so on, the numbers in the resulting series being such that points representing them are capable of symmetrical arrangement in different geometrical figures, as triangles, squares, pentagons, etc.

Note: In the following example, the two lower lines are composed of figurate numbers, those in the second line being triangular, and represented thus: . 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. . . . 1, 3, 6, 10, etc. . . . . . . . etc. 1, 4, 10, 20, etc . . . . . . . . . . . . [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Figurative — may refer to:*Figurative art *Figurative language *Neofigurative Art …   Wikipedia

  • figurative — [fig′yoor ə tiv΄, fig′yərə tiv] adj. [ME < OFr figuratif < LL figurativus < L figuratus, pp. of figurare, to form, fashion < figura, FIGURE] 1. representing by means of a figure, symbol, or likeness 2. having to do with figure drawing …   English World dictionary

  • figurative — index representative Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • figurative — late 14c., from O.Fr. figuratif metaphorical, from L.L. figurativus, from figurat , pp. stem of figurare (see FIGURE (Cf. figure)). Of speech, language, etc., involving figures of speech, from 1845. Related: Figuratively …   Etymology dictionary

  • figurative — [adj] not literal, but symbolic allegorical, denotative, descriptive, emblematic, emblematical, fanciful, florid, flowery, illustrative, metaphoric, metaphorical, ornate, pictorial, poetical, representative, signifying, typical; concepts 267,582… …   New thesaurus

  • figurative — ► ADJECTIVE 1) not using words literally; metaphorical. 2) Art representing forms that are recognizably derived from life. DERIVATIVES figuratively adverb figurativeness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • figurative — [[t]fɪ̱gərətɪv, AM gjər [/t]] 1) ADJ: usu ADJ n If you use a word or expression in a figurative sense, you use it with a more abstract or imaginative meaning than its ordinary literal one. event that will change your route in both the… …   English dictionary

  • figurative — adjective Date: 14th century 1. a. representing by a figure or resemblance ; emblematic b. of or relating to representation of form or figure in art < figurative sculpture > 2. a. expressing one thing in terms normally denoting another with which …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • figurative — figuratively, adv. figurativeness, n. /fig yeuhr euh tiv/, adj. 1. of the nature of or involving a figure of speech, esp. a metaphor; metaphorical; not literal: a figurative expression. 2. metaphorically so called: His remark was a figurative… …   Universalium

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