figure


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figure,

in music, short melodic or rhythmic pattern, the smallest grouping of notes that will produce a single distinct impression. In this sense figure is synonymous with motivemotive
or motif
, in music, a short phrase or passage of two or more notes and repeated or elaborated throughout the composition. The term is usually used synonymously with figure.
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. In music before the 18th cent., a figure had an additional meaning of symbolic significance; it was an illustration in sound of textual details, e.g., a descending group of notes for any word expressing descent. As such, it was part of musical rhetoric.

Figure

Sculptural representation of a person or animal.

Figure

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Figure is an older term for an astrological chart.

figure

[′fig·yər]
(materials)
The natural grain of wood, especially when it is cut as a veneer.

figure

Pattern and natural markings in a wood surface formed by an unusual arrangement or color of the wood fibers and rays. These deviations produce such figures as blister, bird’s-eye, fiddleback, etc.

figure

1. any written symbol other than a letter, esp a whole number
2. another name for digit
3. an amount expressed numerically
4. a representation in painting or sculpture, esp of the human form
5. a pattern or design, as on fabric or in wood
6. a predetermined set of movements in dancing or skating
7. Geometry any combination of points, lines, curves, or planes. A plane figure, such as a circle, encloses an area; a solid figure such as a sphere, encloses a volume
8. Logic one of the four possible arrangements of the three terms in the premises of a syllogism
9. Music
a. a numeral written above or below a note in a part
b. a characteristic short pattern of notes
References in classic literature ?
Master Pedro made him a bow, saying, "I expected no less of the rare Christianity of the valiant Don Quixote of La Mancha, true helper and protector of all destitute and needy vagabonds; master landlord here and the great Sancho Panza shall be the arbitrators and appraisers between your worship and me of what these dilapidated figures are worth or may be worth.
She was as destitute of clothes as the green Martians who accompanied her; indeed, save for her highly wrought ornaments she was entirely naked, nor could any apparel have enhanced the beauty of her perfect and symmetrical figure.
I have stayed the march of a King himself, ere now," replied the gray figure, with stern composure.
While filling her pipe the old woman continued to gaze with almost motherly affection at the figure in the corner.
Then, summoning the wild courage of despair, a throng of the revellers at once threw themselves into the black apartment, and, seizing the mummer, whose tall figure stood erect and motionless within the shadow of the ebony clock, gasped in unutterable horror at finding the grave cerements and corpse-like mask, which they handled with so violent a rudeness, untenanted by any tangible form.
He had already realized, from the documents, that Prior's Park had originally been something like Prior's Farm, named after some local figure, but the new social conditions were all against his tracing the story by its traditions.
The door was opened to them by an aged servant or "dresser", whose broken-down face and figure and black shabby coat and trousers contrasted queerly with the glittering interior of the great actress's dressing-room.
The front of the figure is towards them, but it takes no notice of their entrance and remains like a statue.
At first he tried to pick the little figures from the leaves, but he soon saw that they were not real, though he knew not what they might be, nor had he any words to describe them.
Strictly speaking, Daniel Cooper was one figure of the anglaise.
The Spirit of the Chimes is your companion,' said the figure.
From time to time she looks out into the garden, and sees the white-robed figure of a young girl pacing slowly to and fro in the soft brightness of the moonlight on the lawn.