fig·​u·​ra·​tion | \ ˌfi-g(y)ə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce figuration (audio) \

Definition of figuration

1 : form, outline
2 : the act or process of creating or providing a figure
3 : an act or instance of representation in figures and shapes cubism was explained as a synthesis of colored figurations of objects— Janet Flanner
4 : ornamentation of a musical passage by using decorative and usually repetitive figures

Examples of figuration in a Sentence

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In the energetic swirl of allegorical motifs and internal references, in smearing the line between figuration and abstraction, Kokoschka emerges as a forerunner of artists like R.B. Kitaj and Georg Baselitz. A.j. Goldmann, WSJ, "‘Oskar Kokoschka—Expressionist, Migrant, European. A Retrospective’ Review: Longevity as Blessing and Curse," 2 Jan. 2019 Instead, Bell shaped fast-flying figurations to bring forth the melodic shapes underlying the fireworks, Alsop providing a supple orchestral cushion. Howard Reich,, "CSO at Ravinia review: Marin Alsop poetically launches Bernstein tribute," 13 July 2018 His own newer, introspective paintings, blending figuration with ethereal elements, are there as well. Brett Sokol, New York Times, "Lee Quiñones Brings Street Art to His Living Room," 10 July 2018 But Weiss offered a rather different approach, taking a brisk tempo and running fast figurations along the full stretch of the keyboard. Howard Reich,, "Pianist Michael Weiss evokes memories of Johnny Griffin," 22 June 2018 But Piper quickly joined the avant-garde of her time, leaving figuration behind for the conceptualism then being formulated by Sol LeWitt and other (mostly male) artists. Jillian Steinhauer, The New Republic, "Adrian Piper’s art plays with identity and confronts defensiveness.," 30 May 2018 Pindell’s abstractions entrance me; her figurations mostly don’t. Lori Waxman,, "The diverse, dizzying majesty of Howardena Pindell," 25 Apr. 2018 Wu’s vigorous, expressionistic improvisations often elided passages of figuration, especially of landscape. Jason Farago, Martha Schwendener And Will Heinrich, New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 5 Apr. 2018 The keyboard writing, with its wide melodic leaps and furious figuration, provides the stiffest of workouts for five fingers. John Von Rhein,, "CSO delivers a winning Ravel program under debut conductor Pintscher," 6 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'figuration.' 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 figuration

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for figuration

Middle English figuracioun, borrowed from Latin figūrātiōn-, figūrātiō "process of forming, shape, representation," from figūrāre "to shape, make a likeness of, represent" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at figure entry 2

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The first known use of figuration was in the 14th century

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a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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