Middle English Dictionary Entry

figūren v.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1.
(a) To have a certain shape, form, or appearance; -- pass.; (b) to shape (oneself), to assume the shape or appearance of (someone); -- refl.; (c) wel figured, faireste ~, etc., well shaped, etc.
2.
(a) To represent in painting or sculpture, to make an image or likeness (of something); (b) to represent or symbolize (something abstract) in physical form or action; (c) to compare with, or liken to (something); (d) to signify, be the meaning of.
3.
To represent symbolically or figuratively: (a) to represent by symbol, emblem, or example; to symbolize, exemplify, signify, mean; (b) theol. to prefigure, foreshow, be prophetic of; (c) to express in a figurative sense; (d) to represent by a typical example; to exemplify; (e) to illustrate or characterize by a parable or allegory.
4.
To make a mark or line, or a configuration of marks or lines: (a) to make marks, to mark; (b) to form written characters, to write; (c) to make a diagram; (d) to ornament.
5.
To present in literary form; to narrate or describe.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (c1392) ?Westwyk EPlanets (Peterh 75)26/44 : The lyne deuyded in 9 is the midnyht lyne; I wot wel it is figured boistosly.
  • Note: If 2.(b), antedates sense

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • c1475(c1450) ?Scrope Mirror World (Bod 283) 7194 : Fareth it be the v wittes. Whan men thynkith, fygureth, and desyrith theyme, they seme fulle preciouse.
Note: ?New sense.
Note: Ed.: 'fygureth' = 'imagine'.