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Meaning of figure-ground

fig•ure-ground

Pronunciation: (fig'yur-ground'), [key]
— n. Psychol.
  1. a property of perception in which there is a tendency to see parts of a visual field as solid, well-defined objects standing out against a less distinct background.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.