figment

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

Definition of figment

: something made up or contrived

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

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

Brown turned out to be a figment of their imagination. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Antonio Brown tantrums his way off Raiders and onto Patriots," 7 Sep. 2019 Ahead, your guide to everyone in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood who isn’t a figment of Tarantino’s imagination. Seija Rankin, EW.com, "Your guide to all the real people in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," 30 July 2019 Some Democrats wish that former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke would run against three-term incumbent Sen. John Cornyn, but O’Rourke, the incredibly shrinking candidate, always has been a figment of his and others’ imaginations. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: For the Democrats, it’s winnowing time," 4 Aug. 2019 Some Democrats wish that former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke would run against three-term incumbent Senator John Cornyn, but O’Rourke, the incredibly shrinking candidate, always has been a figment of his and others’ imaginations. George Will, National Review, "For the Democrats, It’s Winnowing Time," 4 Aug. 2019 Some Democrats wish that former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke would run against three-term incumbent Sen. John Cornyn, but O’Rourke, the incredibly shrinking candidate, always has been a figment of his and others’ imaginations. George F. Will, The Denver Post, "Will: For the Democrats, it’s winnowing time," 4 Aug. 2019 In the middle of kissing, Moe keeps seeing the figment of Noah instead of the real Vice. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: Netflix’s Trinkets Recap," 15 June 2019 Excuse me, but was Jalen Hurts a figment of my imagination last year? Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al.com, "Alabama football needs a cold, hard slap in the face," 18 July 2019 But the college kids who eat up their potential allies aren’t exactly contributing to social justice, either, and Klein goes significantly wrong in claiming that the campus problem is mostly a figment of the imagination. Sahil Handa, National Review, "What Conservatives Get Wrong about the Campus Wars," 4 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about figment

Statistics for figment

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for figment

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for figment

figment

noun

English Language Learners Definition of figment

: something produced by the imagination : something that does not really exist

figment

noun
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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on figment

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with figment

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for figment

Spanish Central: Translation of figment

Britannica English: Translation of figment for Arabic Speakers

Comments on figment

What made you want to look up figment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!