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figurative (adj.)

late 14c., "emblematical," from Old French figuratif "metaphorical," from Late Latin figurativus "figurative" (of speech), from figurat-, past participle stem of Latin figurare "to form, shape," from figura "a shape, form, figure" (from PIE root *dheigh- "to form, build"). Of speech, language, etc., "allegorical, metaphoric, involving figures of speech," from late 14c. Related: Figuratively.