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Are there any recurring uses of the word "figment" other than in the expression "figment of the imagination"?

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Now that I think about it, I wonder if "Figment" would make a good name. –  JAB Jul 6 '11 at 14:31
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Certainly. "Figment" can be used as these examples show:

Social figments, feints, and formalism.~ Mrs. Browning.

It carried rather an appearance of figment and invention . . . than of truth and reality. ~Woodward.

As you said, it's commonly used in "figment of imagination", but its definition:

fabrication, fantasy, invention; something fictitious

Means that it can be used everywhere really, to signify 'anything fictitious.'

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From http://vocabulary-vocabulary.com/dictionary/figment.php

It's most commonly used as a critique, in the phrase "figment of your imagination." To use figment in a different context, without that common phrase, is a good way of intellectualizing it. Biographical and historical figments are invented or feigned stories.

Was that a figment, or did I just see my estranged brother. (chimera, illusion)

Either that was a very real-to-life figment, or I just saw a bald eagle flying outside our window. (fabrication, illusion)

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It is very rare outside that expression. Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart wrote a book called "Figments of Reality", playing on that rarity. –  Colin Fine Jul 6 '11 at 14:03
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