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Brewer's: Figure

To cut a figure. This phrase seems applicable more especially to dress and outward bearing. To make a figure is rather to make a name or reputation, but the distinction is not sharply observed.

To make a figure.
To be a notability. Faire quelque figure dans le monde. ?He makes no figure at court;? Il ne fait aucune figure la cour.

Figure
What's the figure? The price; what am I to pay? what ?figure? or sum does my debt amount to?
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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