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English definition of “figurative”

figurative

adjective uk   /ˈfɪɡ.ər.ə.tɪv/ us    /-ɚ.ə.t̬ɪv/

figurative adjective (LANGUAGE)

(written abbreviation fig.) (of words and phrases) used not with their basic meaning but with a more imaginative meaning, in order to create a special effect: Of course, she was using the term 'massacre' in the figurative sense.
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figurative adjective (ART)

(of a painting, drawing, etc.) representing something as it really looks, rather than in an abstract way
(Definition of figurative from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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