F f


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [fig-yer-uh-tiv]
    • /ˈfɪg yər ə tɪv/
    • /ˈfɪɡ.ər.ə.tɪv.li/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [fig-yer-uh-tiv]
    • /ˈfɪg yər ə tɪv/

Definitions of figuratively word

  • adjective figuratively 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.”. Synonyms: metaphorical, not literal, symbolic. 1
  • adjective figuratively metaphorically so called: His remark was a figurative boomerang. 1
  • adjective figuratively abounding in or fond of figures of speech: Elizabethan poetry is highly figurative. Synonyms: ornate, ornamental, flowery, elaborate, florid, grandiloquent. 1
  • adjective figuratively representing by means of a figure or likeness, as in drawing or sculpture. 1
  • adjective figuratively representing by a figure or emblem; emblematic. 1
  • noun figuratively (manner) In a figurative manner. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of figuratively

First appearance:

before 1350
One of the 20% oldest English words
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin figūrātīvus (see figure) + -ive; replacing Middle English figuratif < Middle French

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Figuratively


figuratively popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 90% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
This word is included in each student's vocabulary. Most likely there is at least one movie with this word in the title.

figuratively usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for figuratively

adverb figuratively

  • metaphorically — a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.”. Compare mixed metaphor, simile (def 1).
  • symbolically — serving as a symbol of something (often followed by of).
  • allegorically — consisting of or pertaining to allegory; of the nature of or containing allgegory; figurative: an allegorical poem; an allegorical meaning.
  • emblematically — In an emblematic manner.

Antonyms for figuratively

adverb figuratively

  • literally — in the literal or strict sense: She failed to grasp the metaphor and interpreted the poem literally. What does the word mean literally?

Top questions with figuratively

  • what does figuratively mean?
  • what does figuratively speaking mean?
  • what does literally and figuratively mean?
  • what is figuratively speaking?
  • what is figuratively mean?
  • what is the difference between literally and figuratively?
  • what is the meaning of figuratively?

See also

Matching words

Was this page helpful?
Yes No
Thank you for your feedback! Tell your friends about this page
Tell us why?