fig·​ur·​al | \ ˈfi-g(y)ə-rəl How to pronounce figural (audio) \

Definition of figural

2 : of, relating to, or consisting of human or animal figures a figural composition

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Examples of figural in a Sentence

“a candidate running for office” is just a figural expression

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There are some detours into more traditional figural studies, including a series of swans that can be seen as a kind of precursor to M.C. Escher’s tessellations. Jeffrey Bauman, ELLE Decor, "See This Record-Breaking Guggenheim Exhibit Before It’s Gone," 18 Apr. 2019 The most beautiful gallery is one currently occupied by figural sculpture from Central and West Africa. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "A museum grows in Houston," 1 Nov. 2018 This theme is represented through the figural image in the bulk of the exhibition's works, which aim to present subjective views of the black experience from a wide-reaching global perspective. Kate Sierzputowski, Chicago Reader, "‘In Their Own Form’ takes a long look at Afrofuturism beyond Black Panther," 9 May 2018 The plaque shares a widespread Medieval use of bold figural gestures and enlarged hands and eyes, a vocabulary found from the contemporaneous sculpture at Vézelay, France, all the way into the 13th century. E.a. Carmean Jr., WSJ, "Witnesses of the Risen Christ," 30 Mar. 2018 He was committed to a psychiatric hospital in Verona in 1947, and lived there until his death, in 1974, producing hundreds of colorful gouaches, distinctive for their obsessive repetition and figural silhouettes filled with bubbles or holes. The New Yorker, "Carlo Zinelli," 18 May 2017

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

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First Known Use of figural

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for figural

Middle English, borrowed from Late Latin figūrālis "of a figure, symbolic," from Latin figūra "form, shape, figure entry 1" + -ālis -al entry 1

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Last Updated

29 Apr 2019

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

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