Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “figurative”

figurative

adjective [not gradable]  /ˈfɪɡ·jər·ə·t̬ɪv/ (abbreviation fig.) us  
English (of words and phrases) used not with their basic meaning but to suggest part of that meaning: literal and figurative meanings art Figurative art is based on the shapes of real objects.
figuratively
adverb  /ˈfɪɡ·jər·ə·t̬ɪv·li/ us  
Figuratively speaking, negotiators succeeded in building a bridge over a wide river in reaching this agreement.
(Definition of figurative from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of figurative?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “figurative” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

flair

natural ability to do something well

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More