figure


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Related to figure: figure of speech, Go figure

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 ?
With a dark flush of wrath upon his brow they saw the General draw his sword and advance to meet the figure in the cloak before the latter had stepped one pace upon the floor.
SOCRATES: Well, I will try and explain to you what figure is.
'"Never," replied the figure, with a shudder, "that breeds cheerfulness."
In obedience to Mother Rigby's word, and extending its arm as if to reach her outstretched hand, the figure made a step forward--a kind of hitch and jerk, however, rather than a step--then tottered and almost lost its balance.
The figure was now within the chamber, and she, still dumb--quite dumb, and almost senseless--stood looking on.
I could see figures crowding the forward decks and upper works of the air craft.
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."
He stopped indecisively because a sixth figure had suddenly presented itself just inside the doorway--a figure so incongruous in the scene as to be almost comic.
It was something about one of these waiting figures,--some movement, some chance posture,--that presently surprised my attention and awakened a sudden sense of half recognition.
The boats, and trains, and cows and horses were quite meaningless to him, but not quite so baffling as the odd little figures which appeared beneath and between the colored pictures--some strange kind of bug he thought they might be, for many of them had legs though nowhere could he find one with eyes and a mouth.
Yet I found curious survivals; some of the figures of my old life seemed to be waiting for me in the new.
That black figure with its eyes of fire struck down through all my adult thoughts and feelings, and for a moment the forgotten horrors of childhood came back to my mind.