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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 motive. 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.
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Sculptural representation of a person or animal.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
Figure(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Figure is an older term for an astrological chart.
The Astrology Book, Second Edition © 2003 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The natural grain of wood, especially when it is cut as a veneer.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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
a. a numeral written above or below a note in a part
b. a characteristic short pattern of notes
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005