From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishfigure somebody/something ↔ out phrasal verb1 to think about a problem or situation until you find the answer or understand what has happened SYN work outfigure out how/what/why etc Can you figure out how to do it? If I have a map, I can figure it out. Don’t worry, we’ll figure something out (=find a way to solve the problem).2 UNDERSTANDto understand why someone behaves in the way they do SYN work out Women. I just can’t figure them out. → figure→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusfigure out• And it annoyed her intensely, not least of all because she still felt a long way from figuring him out!• Clinton, for all his mental meanderings, is no dope and has figured all this out.• It takes Jean a really long time to figure Dara out.• This is particularly useful for adding explanatory graphs to otherwise incomprehensible sets of figures before printing out.• Never figured that one out, either.• Another dissented from the final figure, holding out for a lower award.• The real figure turned out to be Â£8.0 billion.• You haven't figured it out yet?figure out how/what/why etc• He told the military what he wanted done, but he let them figure out how best to do it.• Dazedly I got back into bed and tried to figure out what had happened.• It took Wyler a couple of days to figure out what had happened.• They need an exorcist to figure out what in the devil possessed them to return to their worst form from last season.• He went on talking while I tried to figure out what it meant.• They're trying to figure out what's going on, what they're going to grow into.• Oh, so you can talk to Barbara and figure out how to approach them and tell them whatever.• Deion has yet to figure out how to throw to himself.