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

In the most basic sense, the F-35 is performing a figure eight with the nose pointed up and not necessarily in the direction the jet is actually going. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "An F-35 Pilot Gives a Play-by-Play of His Own Aerial Stunts," 11 June 2019 In 50 career games since, Jank has averaged 6.2 points and 5.0 rebounds, scoring in double figures eight times. Brian Howell, The Denver Post, "CU Buffs’ Annika Jank driven to succeed in junior year," 19 June 2019 Leslie herself was gliding around like an ice skater doing figure eights, making sure everyone had something to drink and someone to talk to. Lucinda Rosenfeld, Harper's magazine, "First Daughters," 10 Feb. 2019 Sit in the stretch for 10 seconds, moving your hands in small figure eights for balance. Jenna Dedić, Redbook, "Swim Your Way Stronger," 25 May 2017 Our first exercise is to do a large figure eight in a box to test timing, breaking, accelerating and cornering all at once. Chuck Tannert, Popular Mechanics, "Here's How to Learn to Ride a Motorcycle and Get Your Motorcycle License," 7 Feb. 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of figure eight

1748, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about figure eight

Statistics for figure eight

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for figure eight

The first known use of figure eight was in 1748

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 move or obtain by small maneuvers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!