figure eight


Definition of figure eight

: something resembling the Arabic numeral eight in form or shape: such as
a : a small knot — see knot illustration
b : an embroidery stitch
c : a dance pattern
d : a skater's figure

called also figure-of-eight

Examples of figure eight in a Sentence

The skater traced a figure eight on the ice.

Recent Examples on the Web

Thick fluids form straight lines when being spread rapidly across a canvas, but will form loops and squiggles and figure eights if poured slowly. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study: modern masters like Jackson Pollock were “intuitive physicists”," 26 Dec. 2018 Take a two-foot length of webbing—essentially flat rope—and tie the two ends together with a stopper knot such as a figure eight. Andrew Northshield, Popular Mechanics, "How to Tie a Christmas Tree to the Roof of Your Car," 2 Dec. 2018 For the second round, researchers set boundaries on Marco's chocolate hunt: instead of roaming freely, he was forced to turn left or right in a maze shaped like a figure eight. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Scientists found brain’s internal clock that influences how we perceive time," 31 Aug. 2018 The frogs are blue-black with a bright yellow ring around their head and back, which may be broken or joined to form a figure eight. Michael Allen, Science | AAAS, "How bright colors help these poison tree frogs hide from predators," 13 June 2018 Even after moving to a bench role, Green scored in double figures eight times in 20 games. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Quade Green is 'going to take Kentucky places' after transfer rumors," 11 June 2018 The routing is an out-and-back figure eight, with the front nine being flat and the back nine ascending and then descending the canyon. Michael Williams, GQ, "Four Glorious Golf Courses to Play Before You Die," 2 Apr. 2018 Dean, who started 21 games as a freshman last year, leads the team in blocks with 21 and has scored in double figures eight times this season. Shelby Dermer,, "State-ranked Lakota West, Mason girls meet with GMC title on the line," 9 Feb. 2018 Another bit of good fortune came in 1990, when the sport did away with its compulsory school figures, the painstaking tracings of figure eights, choosing to place a premium on jumping instead. Christine Brennan, USA TODAY, "Tonya Harding movie wants your sympathy, but let's not forget the facts," 20 Dec. 2017

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

1748, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for figure eight

The first known use of figure eight was in 1748

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More Definitions for figure eight

figure eight


English Language Learners Definition of figure eight

US : something that is shaped like the numeral 8

Comments on figure eight

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


to deny responsibility for

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