Meaning of “figure sth/sb out” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"figure sth/sb out" in British English

See all translations

figure sth/sb out

phrasal verb with figure uk /ˈfɪɡ.ər/ us /ˈfɪɡ.jɚ/ verb

B2 to finally understand something or someone, or find the solution to a problem after a lot of thought:

[ + question word ] I can't figure out why he did it.
I find him really odd - I can't figure him out at all.
Can you figure out the answer to question 5?

More examples

  • We need to figure out what went wrong.
  • It took them ages to figure out how to assemble the chest of drawers.
  • As soon as she figures out what happened, you're in trouble.
  • When you've figured the answer out, put your hand up.
  • They spent 20 minutes figuring out how to open the box.

(Definition of “figure sth/sb out” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)