Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “figurative”

See all translations

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

sail

When a boat or a ship sails, it travels on the water.

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More