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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

Figure

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.

figure

[′fig·yər]
(materials)
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.

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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
If you're one of the many who think that modern art, with all its blocks of colour and abstract shapes, is out to intimidate you, then you're not alone.A For those who do not grasp just where the 'art' is when it comes to shapeless, figureless paintings, then the more traditional look of Cairo-born and Paris-based artist Katherine Bakhoum Tisne will be a welcome reprieve.
The complementary obverse of White's work is Walead Beshty's black-and-white Passages in Metropolis (2001-ongoing) photographic series, where abandoned and figureless shopping malls (except for store dummies and the odd homeless) prove just as revealing.
Shapiro, an acclaimed member of the Camberwell Group, presents paintings and sculptures which represent recent work on two themes, the female figure in the home and the open, figureless landscape.