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English definition of “figurative”

figurative

adjective (LANGUAGE)    /ˈfɪɡ.ər.ə.tɪv/ US  /-ɚ.ə.t̬ɪv/ (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. → Compare literalFigurative use of language
(Definition of figurative adjective (LANGUAGE) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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