fig·​ment | \ ˈfig-mənt How to pronounce figment (audio) \

Definition of figment

: something made up or contrived

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A figment is something formed from imaginary elements. Daydreams are figments; nightmares are figments that can seem very real. Most figments are everyday fears and hopes about small things that turn out to be imaginary. But when the radio play "The War of the Worlds" aired in 1938, it caused a panic among thousands of people who didn't realize the Martian invasion was just a figment of the author's imagination.

Examples of figment in a Sentence

unable to find any tracks in the snow the next morning, I was forced to conclude that the shadowy figure had been a figment of my imagination thus far, the invisible human being has been nothing more than a figment of fantasy writers
Recent Examples on the Web The $3 million legal bill that Mr. Wyatt cited appears to be a figment of his imagination. Elizabeth Wagmeister, Variety, 22 June 2022 Twenty-seven of the 30 MLB teams have won their division at some point from 1996-2019 and 2021 because 2020 was simply a figment of our collective imaginations. James Yasko, Chron, 16 June 2022 Unfortunately, this is not a figment of Jules' imagination: Dollface has been canceled at Hulu after two seasons. Jessica Wang,, 10 May 2022 Big John has now suggested that this is more than just a figment of the popular imagination. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 7 Apr. 2022 In England’s Regency era, hot tubs did not exist and phones, let alone cellphones, were a figment of the imagination. San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Mar. 2022 But was the perception real or just a pleasurable figment conjured up by the gray goo? Peter Keough,, 6 Jan. 2022 But for us as children, Bajan Cherries were a figment of delicious seasonal fun... and early morning routines... Daphne Ewing-chow, Forbes, 31 Jan. 2022 The world’s millions of advice-hungry investors aren’t just a figment of the imagination. Michael Spellacy, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'figment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of figment

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for figment

Middle English, "fable, deceitful practice," borrowed from Latin figmentum "thing formed, image, invention," from fig-, variant stem of fingere "to mold, fashion, make a likeness of, pretend to be" + -mentum -ment — more at feign

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The first known use of figment was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near figment

fig marigold


fig mite

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Last Updated

5 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Figment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for figment


fig·​ment | \ ˈfig-mənt \

Kids Definition of figment

: something imagined or made up I thought I saw her, but it must have been a figment of my imagination.

More from Merriam-Webster on figment

Britannica English: Translation of figment for Arabic Speakers


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