fig·​u·​ra·​tion ˌfi-g(y)ə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce figuration (audio)
: the act or process of creating or providing a figure
: an act or instance of representation in figures and shapes
cubism was explained as a synthesis of colored figurations of objectsJanet Flanner
: ornamentation of a musical passage by using decorative and usually repetitive figures

Examples of figuration in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In later compositions, more explicit figuration returns, but her interest in motion persists: Bamboo (2010) is a stunning and synthesized vision of gentle light seen through leaves and moving in every direction. Sarah Rose Sharp,, 9 July 2024 For some, Leaf’s art was most significant because it was so invested in the possibilities of figuration. Alex Greenberger,, 2 July 2024 And in the finale, Heyward played up the contrast between Lee’s mechanistic churn and Bryant’s sinuous figuration. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 16 June 2024 Gap Linen-Cotton Halter Vest, $34 (Save $36) Alternatively, this Gap pick has a halter neckline and back-baring figuration that’s a dream for those who like to feel sunshine and develop their tan. Alyssa Grabinski, Peoplemag, 6 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for figuration 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'figuration.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near figuration

Cite this Entry

“Figuration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

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