A dictionary says:

Figure: a symbol for a number

Digit: a word, letter, symbol, or figure representing a number.

Number: a mathematical unit used to count or express an amount, quantity.

I don't see a big difference between a figure and a digit. What is it?

2 Answers 2


You're using a select subset of many definitions for figure, number, and digit.

A digit is a single numeral (0-9), like the digit 5 in the number 5, or the digit 5 in the number 2507.

A number can have one or more digits, like 7 or 2507 or 2,507.38.

A figure can be a shape, a diagram, or a number; if used to describe a number, it can be composed of a single digit or of multiple digits.

  • 1
    "2507" is a single numerical value but not a digit.
    – TypeIA
    Nov 5, 2020 at 14:18

A figure is something that is drawn, which might be digit.

A figure can also be a number or amount, for example in this dialogue:

We will need to pay them off.
What figure do you have in mind?
I suggest 10,000 should be enough.

A digit is a single number in the range 0 to 9. It is the same word for fingers/thumbs and toes, of which we have 10 each.

Sometimes digit and figure can be used interchangeably.

10,000 is a five figure sum.

In computer parlance, each of those figures is referred to as a digit.

A number is an arithmetical quantity, which is written using digits and other symbols, such as a sign and a decimal point.

  • +1, there's also "numeral," which can be roughly synonymous with "digit."
    – TypeIA
    Nov 5, 2020 at 14:15

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