from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several trees or shrubs of the genus Ficus, especially F. carica, native to the Mediterranean region and widely cultivated for its edible multiple fruit.
  • n. The sweet, hollow, pear-shaped, multiple fruit of this plant, having numerous tiny seedlike fruits.
  • n. Any of several plants bearing similar fruit.
  • n. The fruit of such a plant.
  • n. A trivial or contemptible amount: not worth a fig; didn't care a fig.
  • n. Dress; array: in full fig.
  • n. Physical condition; shape: in fine fig.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fruit-bearing tree or shrub of the genus Ficus that is native mainly to the tropics.
  • n. The fruit of the fig tree, pear-shaped and containing many small seeds.
  • n. Abbreviation of figure (diagram or illustration).
  • v. To move suddenly or quickly; rove about.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small fruit tree (Ficus Carica) with large leaves, known from the remotest antiquity. It was probably native from Syria westward to the Canary Islands.
  • n. The fruit of a fig tree, which is of round or oblong shape, and of various colors.
  • n. A small piece of tobacco.
  • n. The value of a fig, practically nothing; a fico; -- used in scorn or contempt.
  • n. Figure; dress; array.
  • transitive v. To insult with a fico, or contemptuous motion. See fico.
  • transitive v. To put into the head of, as something useless o� contemptible.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To move suddenly or quickly; rove about.
  • To insult with ficos, or contemptuous motions of the fingers. See fig, n., 7, and fico.
  • To put into the head of, as something worthless or useless.
  • To dress or deck: as, to fig one out.
  • To trick or hocus, as a horse, so as to make the animal appear lively or spirited, as by putting a piece of ginger into the anus.
  • A common abbreviation of figure.
  • n. The common name for species of the genus Ficus, and for their fruit.
  • n. A name given to various plants having a fruit somewhat resembling the fig.
  • n. A florideous alga, Callithamnion floridulum.
  • n. The fig-tree.
  • n. A raisin.
  • n. In farriery, an excrescence on the frog of a horse's foot following a bruise.
  • n. A contemptuous gesture, pretended to be of Spanish origin, which consisted in thrusting out the thumb between the first and second fingers. Also called fig of Spain and fico.
  • n. As a colloquial standard of value or consideration, the merest trifle; the least bit: as, your opinion is not worth a fig; I don't care a fig for it.
  • n. Dress; equipment: used chiefly in the phrase in full fig, in full or official dress.
  • n. Hence Condition; state of preparation or readiness: as, the horse is in good fig for the race.
  • n. In soap-making, same as figging.
  • n. An abbreviation of figurative or of figuratively.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. fleshy sweet pear-shaped yellowish or purple multiple fruit eaten fresh or preserved or dried
  • n. a diagram or picture illustrating textual material
  • n. Mediterranean tree widely cultivated for its edible fruit
  • n. a Libyan terrorist group organized in 1995 and aligned with al-Qaeda; seeks to radicalize the Libyan government; attempted to assassinate Qaddafi


Middle English, from Old French figue, from Old Provençal figa, from Vulgar Latin *fīca, from Latin fīcus.
Perhaps from fig, to trot out a horse in lively condition, dress up, variant of feague, to make a horse lively, probably from Dutch vegen, to brush, from Middle Dutch vēghen.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English fige, fygge (also fyke, from Old English fīc, see fike), from Anglo-Norman figue, from Old Provençal figa, from Vulgar Latin fīca ("fig"), from Latin fīcus ("fig tree"), from a pre-Indo European language, perhaps Phoenician (compare Classical Hebrew פַּגָּה (paggâ, "early fallen fig"), Classical Syriac ܦܓܐ (paggāʾ), dialectal Arabic - (faġġ), - (fiġġ)). (Wiktionary)
Variation of fike. (Wiktionary)



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  • Faith

    "swearing by her fig"

    April 23, 2011

  • I have a medieval recipe for "fig cream," which IS as good as you might hope. It uses dried figs though.

    September 18, 2009

  • My sister-in-law in Los Alamos makes fig ice cream. It's not as good as you might hope...

    September 18, 2009

  • "Whoa! Could you not use such harsh vegetables?"

    September 18, 2009

  • Weirdnet!

    September 18, 2009

  • *sigh*

    September 18, 2009

  • Yeppers c_b, green ones, with the most alluring hint of pink inside... more often than not we just stood at the tree eating them on the spot, until quite farctate, we ambled off to our respective dwellings to digest before our next fig foray.

    September 17, 2009

  • Ooh! Green ones?

    September 17, 2009

  • Despite knowing way too much about the wasps and nematodes, I'm a great fan of figs, whether fresh off the tree, dehydrated, or baked into cookies or pies. My neighbor and I recently finished eating a whole tree full of these luscious fruits...

    September 17, 2009

  • I don't care WTF is living in them. Fresh figs are teh alsome.

    They're also said to be an aphrodisiac, so maybe there's something to dead nematodes... *ponders*

    September 17, 2009

  • And happy are those who have no knowledge of the pollination biology of those figs we eat raw and use in our cooking, or of the host-parasite connection between the fig wasps and nematodes that live (and die!) inside the figs... all those creepy crawlies living inside such a luscious fruit... if ever there were a case to be made for food irradiation, this might be it!

    "One form of nematode is entirely dependent upon fig wasps, which are the sole source of fig fertilization. They prey upon the wasps, riding them from the ripe fig of the wasp's birth to the fig flower of its death, where they kill the wasp, and their offspring await the birth of the next generation of wasps as the fig ripens." (from Wikipedia entry for Nematode)

    September 17, 2009

  • How sad that there are people walking around who don't know about FIGS, for heaven's sake...

    September 17, 2009

  • For the erotic symbolism of the fig, see D. H. Lawrence's poem here and Alan Bates's marvelous interpretation of it in the Ken Russell movie Women in Love here.

    September 11, 2008

  • "It's only fitting, then, that the fig is extraordinary in botanical terms, too. The 'fruit' is actually an inverted flower with a collection of unopened blooms lining the inner wall of the delicate sack. Some fig varieties are self-pollinating, while others rely on fig wasps to help those tiny flowers produce hundreds of seeds. This juicy mass of seeds is what we recognize as the fruit's flesh. -- "Perfection is a Fresh Fig," Julie O'Hara, NPR

    September 11, 2008