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figurative

[fig-yer-uh-tiv] /ˈfɪg yər ə tɪv/
adjective
1.
of the nature of or involving a figure of speech, especially a metaphor; metaphorical and not literal: The word “head” has several figurative senses, as in “She's the head of the company.”.
2.
metaphorically so called:
His remark was a figurative boomerang.
3.
abounding in or fond of figures of speech:
Elizabethan poetry is highly figurative.
4.
representing by means of a figure or likeness, as in drawing or sculpture.
5.
representing by a figure or emblem; emblematic.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin figūrātīvus (see figurate, -ive); replacing Middle English figuratif < Middle French
Related forms
figuratively, adverb
figurativeness, noun
nonfigurative, adjective
nonfiguratively, adverb
nonfigurativeness, noun
semifigurative, adjective
semifiguratively, adverb
semifigurativeness, noun
unfigurative, adjective
unfiguratively, adverb
unfigurativeness, noun
Can be confused
figuratively, literally, virtually (see usage note at literally)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for figurativeness

figurative

/ˈfɪɡərətɪv/
adjective
1.
of the nature of, resembling, or involving a figure of speech; not literal; metaphorical
2.
using or filled with figures of speech
3.
representing by means of an emblem, likeness, figure, etc
4.
(in painting, sculpture, etc) of, relating to, or characterized by the naturalistic representation of the external world
Derived Forms
figuratively, adverb
figurativeness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for figurativeness

figurative

adj.

late 14c., from Old French figuratif "metaphorical," from Late Latin figurativus, from figurat-, past participle stem of figurare "to form, shape," from figura "a shape, form, figure" (see figure (n.)). Of speech, language, etc., "involving figures of speech," from 1845. Related: Figuratively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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