1 [fig]
any tree or shrub belonging to the genus Ficus, of the mulberry family, especially a small tree, F. carica, native to southwestern Asia, bearing a turbinate or pear-shaped fruit that is eaten fresh, preserved, or dried.
the fruit of such a tree or shrub, or of any related species.
any of various plants having a fruit somewhat resembling this.
a contemptibly trifling or worthless amount; the least bit: His help wasn't worth a fig.
a gesture of contempt.

1175–1225; Middle English fige < Old French < Old Provençal figa < Vulgar Latin *fīca, for Latin fīcus Unabridged


2 [fig]
dress or array: to appear at a party in full fig.
condition: to feel in fine fig.

1685–95; earlier feague to liven, whip up < German fegen to furbish, sweep, clean; akin to fair1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To figs
World English Dictionary
fig1 (fɪɡ)
1.  any moraceous tree or shrub of the tropical and subtropical genus Ficus, in which the flowers are borne inside a pear-shaped receptacle
2.  the fruit of any of these trees, esp of F. carica, which develops from the receptacle and has sweet flesh containing numerous seedlike structures
3.  any of various plants or trees having a fruit similar to this
4.  Hottentot fig, sour fig a succulent plant, Mesembryanthemum edule, of southern Africa, having a capsular fruit containing edible pulp: family Aizoaceae
5.  (used with a negative) something of negligible value; jot: I don't care a fig for your opinion
6.  dialect Also: feg a piece or segment from an orange
7.  Also called: fico an insulting gesture made with the thumb between the first two fingers or under the upper teeth
[C13: from Old French figue, from Old Provençal figa, from Latin fīcus fig tree]

fig2 (fɪɡ)
vb (foll by out or up) , figs, figging, figged
1.  to dress (up) or rig (out)
2.  to administer stimulating drugs to (a horse)
3.  dress, appearance, or array (esp in the phrase in full fig)
4.  physical condition or form: in bad fig
[C17 feague, of uncertain origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

early 13c., from O.Fr. figue, from O.Prov. figa, from V.L. *fica, from L. ficus "fig tree, fig," from a pre-I.E. Mediterranean language, possibly Semitic (cf. Phoenician pagh "half-ripe fig"). Earlier borrowed directly into O.E. from L. as fic. The insulting sense of the word in Shakespeare, etc. (A
fig for ...) is 1570s, from Gk. and It. use of their versions of the word as slang for "cunt," apparently because of how a ripe fig looks when split open. Giving the fig (Fr. faire la figue, Sp. dar la higa) was an indecent gesture of ancient provenance, made by putting the thumb between two fingers or into the mouth. See sycophant. Use of fig leaf in figurative sense of "flimsy disguise" (1550s) is from Gen. iii.7.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
fishing industry grants
fully integrated groups
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Bible Dictionary

Fig definition

First mentioned in Gen. 3:7. The fig-tree is mentioned (Deut. 8:8) as one of the valuable products of Palestine. It was a sign of peace and prosperity (1 Kings 4:25; Micah 4:4; Zech. 3:10). Figs were used medicinally (2 Kings 20:7), and pressed together and formed into "cakes" as articles of diet (1 Sam. 30:12; Jer. 24:2). Our Lord's cursing the fig-tree near Bethany (Mark 11:13) has occasioned much perplexity from the circumstance, as mentioned by the evangelist, that "the time of figs was not yet." The explanation of the words, however, lies in the simple fact that the fruit of the fig-tree appears before the leaves, and hence that if the tree produced leaves it ought also to have had fruit. It ought to have had fruit if it had been true to its "pretensions," in showing its leaves at this particular season. "This tree, so to speak, vaunted itself to be in advance of all the other trees, challenged the passer-by that he should come and refresh himself with its fruit. Yet when the Lord accepted its challenge and drew near, it proved to be but as the others, without fruit as they; for indeed, as the evangelist observes, the time of figs had not yet arrived. Its fault, if one may use the word, lay in its pretensions, in its making a show to run before the rest when it did not so indeed" (Trench, Miracles). The fig-tree of Palestine (Ficus carica) produces two and sometimes three crops of figs in a year, (1) the bikkurah, or "early-ripe fig" (Micah 7:1; Isa. 28:4; Hos. 9:10, R.V.), which is ripe about the end of June, dropping off as soon as it is ripe (Nah. 3:12); (2) the kermus, or "summer fig," then begins to be formed, and is ripe about August; and (3) the pag (plural "green figs," Cant. 2:13; Gr. olynthos, Rev. 6:13, "the untimely fig"), or "winter fig," which ripens in sheltered spots in spring.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Try the honeyed mascarpone tofu on baguette or the liver mousse with figs.
First, there was a load of figs, which she intends to make into jam for a cafe that feeds homeless people.
Except for one made with dates and figs, you'll find these smoothies only moderately sweet.
Dried figs are never out of season, and are available all year.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature