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figure - definition and synonyms

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noun     figure pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable] [often plural] an official number that has been counted or calculated

    This year’s sales figures were excellent.

    The final inflation figure was 6.5% for the year.

    1. a.
      British a number

      She sat and stared at the figures on the page.

      single/double figures (=a number above/below 10):

      Inflation has reached double figures for the first time in 15 years.

    2. b.
      an amount of money

      What kind of figure are we looking at for this project?

      put a figure on something:

      It’s difficult to put an exact figure on the rebuilding work.

      three/four/five/six figures:

      The chairman’s bonus payment could well reach six figures this year.

    3. c.


      [plural] calculations that you do using numbers
      have a good head for figures:

      I’ve never had a good head for figures.

  2. 2
    [countable] someone who is important in some way
    a prominent/key/leading figure:

    She was the dominant figure in British politics in the 1980s.

  3. 3
    [countable] the shape of the body of someone you do not know

    A small figure appeared in the doorway.

    1. a.
      a picture or model of someone

      There are three figures in the foreground.

      a stone figure of a man

    2. b.
      the shape of a woman’s body, for example whether she is fat or thin

      How to achieve the perfect figure without dieting.

      Now in her fifties, she still has a fabulous figure.

      keep your figure (=stay thin):

      After a certain age, you have to work hard to keep your figure.

      watch your figure (=be careful about what you eat so that you do not become fat):

      No cake for me, thanks, I have to watch my figure.

  4. 4
    [countable] maths a shape in mathematics

    a five-sided figure

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to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

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Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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