# Digit vs. Figure: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on September 29, 2023
Digit refers to any of the numerals from 0 to 9, while figure can refer to any numerical symbol, including digits but also larger numbers and even mathematical shapes.

## Key Differences

Digit is a term that specifically describes the numerals from 0 through 9. These are the building blocks of our numerical system and are used to form more complex numbers. Figure, however, has a broader range of meanings; it can refer to any numeral, including multi-digit numbers, and even refer to non-numerical representations like shapes.
In mathematics, a digit is always a single unit and is associated strictly with numerical representation. Figure, conversely, can also refer to graphical representations such as two-dimensional shapes in geometry, which is a departure from strictly numerical interpretation.
When discussing the constituents of a larger number, one would refer to each individual component as a digit. For instance, in the number 235, there are three digits: 2, 3, and 5. Figure, however, could refer to the whole number 235 as a "three-figure number," emphasizing its magnitude rather than its components.
It's worth noting that digit also has a biological meaning, referring to fingers or toes in anatomy. Figure, on the other hand, can also be a term in art and literature, referring to the form or shape of something or even a person's bodily shape, showing its versatility as a word.
In everyday language, people might use figure to refer to a number that represents statistical or factual information ("the figures show an increase in sales"). In such contexts, digit would be too narrow a term to describe these potentially large or complex numbers.

## Comparison Chart

### Scope

Single numeral 0-9
Numerical symbol, larger numbers, shapes

### Mathematical Usage

Strictly numerical
Broader (can include shapes)

### Constituents of Numbers

Individual components
Can refer to whole numbers

Biological (fingers, toes)
Artistic, Statistical

### Complexity

Simple
More versatile and complex

## Digit and Figure Definitions

#### Digit

A numeral from 0 to 9.
The digit 5 is between 4 and 6.

#### Figure

A person's bodily shape.
The dress flattered her figure.

#### Digit

A display unit on electronic devices.
The digit on the clock flashed midnight.

#### Figure

A written or printed symbol representing something other than a letter, especially a number.

#### Digit

A finger or toe in anatomy.
Humans typically have ten digits on their hands.

#### Figure

Figures Mathematical calculations
Good at figures.

#### Digit

A unit in a numbering system.
The binary digit can be 0 or 1.

#### Figure

An amount represented in numbers
Sold for a large figure.

#### Digit

A representation in data storage.
Each digit in the code stands for a specific action.

#### Figure

Figures One of the digits specified as making up a larger number
A salary in the six figures.

#### Digit

A human finger or toe.

#### Figure

(Mathematics) A geometric form consisting of any combination of points, lines, or planes
A triangle is a plane figure.

#### Digit

A corresponding part in other vertebrates.

#### Figure

The outline, form, or silhouette of a thing
Saw the figure of a cat in the window.

#### Digit

A unit of length derived from the breadth of a finger and equal to about 34 of an inch (2.0 centimeters).

#### Figure

The shape or form of a human body
A fashion model with an attractive figure.

#### Digit

One of the ten Arabic number symbols, 0 through 9.

#### Figure

An indistinct object or shape
The figures in the mist turned out to be lampposts.

#### Digit

Such a symbol used in a system of numeration.

#### Figure

A person, especially a well-known one
A famous historical figure.

#### Digit

Digits Slang A telephone number
She gave me her digits, and I put them in my phone.

#### Figure

Impression or appearance made
Cut a dashing figure at the reception.

#### Digit

(mathematics) The whole numbers from 0 to 9 and the Arabic numerals representing them, which are combined to represent base-ten numbers.
The number 123.4 has four digits: the hundreds digit is 1, the tens digit is 2, the units digit is 3, and the tenths digit is 4.

#### Figure

A person, animal, or object that symbolizes something.

#### Digit

(mathematics) A distinct symbol representing one of an arithmetic progression of numbers between 0 and the radix.
Hexadecimal numeration (Base sixteen) includes the digits 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 but also A (=10 decimal), B, C, D, E, and F. Sixteen itself is written as the two-digit number 10.

#### Figure

A pictorial or sculptural representation, especially of the human body.

#### Digit

The apparent diameter of the sun or moon, (chiefly) as a measure of the totality of an eclipse.
A six-digit eclipse covers half the lunar surface.

#### Figure

A diagram
Drew a figure of the office layout.

#### Digit

A unit of length notionally based upon the width of an adult human finger, standardized differently in various places and times, (especially) the English digit of 16{{nbsp}}foot, now equivalent to about 1.9{{nbsp}}cm.

#### Figure

A design or pattern, as in a textile
Silk with a paisley figure.

Syn of inch.

#### Figure

An illustration printed from an engraved plate or block.

#### Digit

(anatomy) A narrow extremity of the human hand or foot: a finger, thumb, or toe.

#### Figure

A configuration or distinct group of steps in a dance.

#### Digit

(zoology) Similar or similar-looking structures in other animals.

#### Figure

A pattern traced by a series of movements, as in ice skating.

#### Digit

Syn of degreeof a circle.

#### Figure

(Music) A brief melodic or harmonic unit often constituting the basis of a larger phrase or structure.

#### Digit

(transitive) To point at or point out with the finger.

#### Figure

(Logic) Any one of the forms that a syllogism can take, given one of the four possible arrangements of the middle term.

#### Digit

One of the terminal divisions of a limb appendage; a finger or toe.
The ruminants have the "cloven foot," i. e., two hoofed digits on each foot.

#### Figure

(Mathematics) To calculate with numbers
Figured the sum to be nearly a million.

#### Digit

A finger's breadth, commonly estimated to be three fourths of an inch.

#### Figure

To make a likeness of; depict.

#### Digit

One of the ten figures or symbols, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, by which all numbers are expressed; - so called because of the use of the fingers in counting and computing.

#### Figure

To adorn with a design or figures.

#### Digit

One twelfth part of the diameter of the sun or moon; - a term used to express the quantity of an eclipse; as, an eclipse of eight digits is one which hides two thirds of the diameter of the disk.

#### Figure

To write a sequence of conventionalized numbers below or above (the bassline) to indicate harmony.

#### Digit

To point at or out with the finger.

#### Figure

To embellish with an ornamental pattern.

#### Digit

One of the elements that collectively form a system of numbers;
0 and 1 are digits

#### Figure

To conclude, believe, or predict
I never figured that this would happen.

#### Digit

The length of breadth of a finger used as a linear measure

#### Figure

To consider or regard
Figured them as con artists.

#### Digit

A finger or toe in human beings or corresponding part in other vertebrates

#### Figure

(Mathematics) To calculate; compute.

#### Figure

To be or seem important or prominent
A key fact that figures in our understanding of what happened.

#### Figure

To be pertinent or involved
His advice barely figured in my decision.

#### Figure

(Informal) To seem reasonable or expected
“I found my keys in the sofa.” “Well, that figures, given that you were sitting there last night.”.

#### Figure

A drawing or diagram conveying information.

#### Figure

The representation of any form, as by drawing, painting, modelling, carving, embroidering, etc.; especially, a representation of the human body.
A figure in bronze; a figure cut in marble

#### Figure

A person or thing representing a certain consciousness.

#### Figure

The appearance or impression made by the conduct or career of a person.
He cut a sorry figure standing there in the rain.

#### Figure

(obsolete) Distinguished appearance; magnificence; conspicuous representation; splendour; show.

#### Figure

A human figure, which dress or corset must fit to; the shape of a human body.

A numeral.

#### Figure

A number, an amount.

#### Figure

A shape.
A geometrical figure, a plane figure, a solid figure

#### Figure

A visible pattern as in wood or cloth.
The muslin was of a pretty figure.''

#### Figure

Any complex dance moveW.

#### Figure

A figure of speech.

#### Figure

(logic) The form of a syllogism with respect to the relative position of the middle term.

#### Figure

(astrology) A horoscope; the diagram of the aspects of the astrological houses.

#### Figure

(music) Any short succession of notes, either as melody or as a group of chords, which produce a single complete and distinct impression.

#### Figure

(music) A form of melody or accompaniment kept up through a strain or passage; a motif; a florid embellishment.

#### Figure

To calculate, to solve a mathematical problem.

#### Figure

To come to understand.
I can’t figure if he’s telling the truth or lying.

#### Figure

To think, to assume, to suppose, to reckon.

#### Figure

To be reasonable.
It figures that somebody like him would be upset about the situation.

#### Figure

(intransitive) To enter into; to be a part of.

#### Figure

(obsolete) To represent by a figure, as to form or mould; to make an image of, either palpable or ideal; also, to fashion into a determinate form; to shape.

#### Figure

To embellish with design; to adorn with figures.

#### Figure

(obsolete) To indicate by numerals.

#### Figure

To represent by a metaphor; to signify or symbolize.

#### Figure

(obsolete) To prefigure; to foreshow.

#### Figure

(music) To write over or under the bass, as figures or other characters, in order to indicate the accompanying chords.

#### Figure

(music) To embellish.

#### Figure

The form of anything; shape; outline; appearance.
Flowers have all exquisite figures.

#### Figure

The representation of any form, as by drawing, painting, modeling, carving, embroidering, etc.; especially, a representation of the human body; as, a figure in bronze; a figure cut in marble.
A coin that bears the figure of an angel.

#### Figure

A pattern in cloth, paper, or other manufactured article; a design wrought out in a fabric; as, the muslin was of a pretty figure.

#### Figure

A diagram or drawing, made to represent a magnitude or the relation of two or more magnitudes; a surface or space inclosed on all sides; - called superficial when inclosed by lines, and solid when inclosed by surfaces; any arrangement made up of points, lines, angles, surfaces, etc.

#### Figure

The appearance or impression made by the conduct or career of a person; as, a sorry figure.
I made some figure there.
Gentlemen of the best figure in the county.

#### Figure

Distinguished appearance; magnificence; conspicuous representation; splendor; show.
That he may live in figure and indulgence.

#### Figure

A character or symbol representing a number; a numeral; a digit; as, 1, 2,3, etc.

#### Figure

Value, as expressed in numbers; price; as, the goods are estimated or sold at a low figure.
With nineteen thousand a year at the very lowest figure.

#### Figure

A person, thing, or action, conceived of as analogous to another person, thing, or action, of which it thus becomes a type or representative.
Who is the figure of Him that was to come.

#### Figure

A mode of expressing abstract or immaterial ideas by words which suggest pictures or images from the physical world; pictorial language; a trope; hence, any deviation from the plainest form of statement. Also called a figure of speech.
To represent the imagination under the figure of a wing.

#### Figure

The form of a syllogism with respect to the relative position of the middle term.

#### Figure

Any one of the several regular steps or movements made by a dancer.

#### Figure

A horoscope; the diagram of the aspects of the astrological houses.

#### Figure

Any short succession of notes, either as melody or as a group of chords, which produce a single complete and distinct impression.

#### Figure

A form of melody or accompaniment kept up through a strain or passage; a musical phrase or motive; a florid embellishment.

#### Figure

To represent by a figure, as to form or mold; to make an image of, either palpable or ideal; also, to fashion into a determinate form; to shape.
If love, alas! be pain I bear,
No thought can figure, and no tongue declare.Prior.

#### Figure

To embellish with design; to adorn with figures.
The vaulty top of heavenFigured quite o'er with burning meteors.

#### Figure

To indicate by numerals; also, to compute.
As through a crystal glass the figured hours are seen.

#### Figure

To represent by a metaphor; to signify or symbolize.
Whose white vestments figure innocence.

#### Figure

To prefigure; to foreshow.
In this the heaven figures some event.

#### Figure

To write over or under the bass, as figures or other characters, in order to indicate the accompanying chords.

#### Figure

To make a figure; to be distinguished or conspicious; as, the envoy figured at court.
Sociable, hospitable, eloquent, admired, figuring away brilliantly.

#### Figure

To calculate; to contrive; to scheme; as, he is figuring to secure the nomination.

#### Figure

A diagram or picture illustrating textual material;
The area covered can be seen from Figure 2

#### Figure

Alternative names for the body of a human being;
Leonardo studied the human body
He has a strong physique
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak

#### Figure

One of the elements that collectively form a system of numbers;
0 and 1 are digits

#### Figure

A model of a bodily form (especially of a person);
He made a figure of Santa Claus

#### Figure

A well-known or notable person;
They studied all the great names in the history of France
She is an important figure in modern music

#### Figure

A combination of points and lines and planes that form a visible palpable shape

#### Figure

An amount of money expressed numerically;
A figure of \$17 was suggested

#### Figure

The impression produced by a person;
He cut a fine figure
A heroic figure

#### Figure

The property possessed by a sum or total or indefinite quantity of units or individuals;
He had a number of chores to do
The number of parameters is small
The figure was about a thousand

#### Figure

Language used in a figurative or nonliteral sense

#### Figure

A unitary percept having structure and coherence that is the object of attention and that stands out against a ground

#### Figure

A decorative or artistic work;
The coach had a design on the doors

#### Figure

A predetermined set of movements in dancing or skating;
She made the best score on compulsory figures

#### Figure

Judge to be probable

#### Figure

Be or play a part of or in;
Elections figure prominently in every government program
How do the elections figure in the current pattern of internal politics?

#### Figure

Imagine; conceive of; see in one's mind;
I can't see him on horseback!
I can see what will happen
I can see a risk in this strategy

#### Figure

Make a mathematical calculation or computation

#### Figure

Understand;
He didn't figure her

#### Figure

A numerical symbol or number.
The figure on the price tag was \$20.

#### Figure

A shape or form.
The figure of the statue was imposing.

#### Figure

A diagram or illustration.
The figure in the textbook explained the concept well.

#### Figure

Statistical or factual numerical information.
The sales figures were encouraging.

## FAQs

#### What does figure mean?

Figure can refer to a numerical symbol, a shape, a diagram, or even statistical data.

#### What does digit mean?

Digit refers to any of the numerals from 0 to 9 used in the decimal numbering system.

#### Can a figure be a digit?

Yes, a figure can be a digit but it can also be more than that, like a multi-digit number.

#### Can a digit be a figure?

Yes, a digit is a specific type of figure; it's one of the numerals from 0 to 9.

#### Can figure refer to shapes?

Yes, in geometry, "figure" can refer to shapes like circles, squares, etc.

#### Can a single-digit number be a figure?

Yes, a single-digit number like 5 is also considered a figure.

#### Is figure used in art?

Yes, "figure" can refer to a shape or form in art, as well as a person's bodily shape.

#### Are digits only numerical?

Primarily, yes, but the term can also refer to fingers and toes in anatomy.

#### Can figure refer to diagrams?

Yes, "figure" can also mean a diagram or illustration, especially in textbooks.

#### What is a 'three-figure number'?

A 'three-figure number' is a number with three digits, like 100 or 999.

#### Can figures be statistical?

Yes, "figure" can refer to statistical or factual numerical data.

#### How many digits are in 100?

There are three digits in the number 100.

#### Are the terms digit and figure interchangeable?

No, they are not fully interchangeable due to their different scopes and additional meanings.

#### Can digits be in binary form?

Yes, in a binary system, a digit can be either 0 or 1.

#### Is 'digit' used in technology?

Yes, 'digit' can refer to a display unit on electronic devices like digital clocks.