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

Recent Examples on the Web

In fact there was no figuration at all—just a gradient that swept between a tropic green and a hospital blue. Daniel Poppick, Harper's magazine, "Rumors," 16 Sep. 2019 Also on view are works by the late Abstract Expressionist Philip Guston, who in his later years, became known for delving into figuration and the grotesque. Los Angeles Times, "Datebook: Stark domestic scenes by German painter Lenz Geerk," 13 Sep. 2019 But he felt misunderstood by an art world that was still enamored with figuration. Karen Rosenberg, New York Times, "Carlos Cruz-Diez, Whose Art Made Color Move, Is Dead at 95," 2 Aug. 2019 The score’s repeating figurations were propelled forward but never pushed. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "Review: After 27 Years, Meredith Monk’s ‘Atlas’ Returns to Earth," 12 June 2019 The show is organized in thematic groupings that explore immersive installations, ideas on Americanness, figuration, and the intersection of the body with architecture. Cameron Bird, Vogue, "Art for All: At the MOCA's 40th Anniversary Benefit, the Museum Announced Free Admission," 21 May 2019 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

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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1 Oct 2019

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

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