'Picture' or 'figure' in articles?

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Senior Member
Hi, everybody,

Pictures in articles are always titled 'figure'.
For example, 'Figure 1. Locomotive', not 'Picture 1. Locomotive'.

Although figure doesn't have meaning photo or pictute, a photo or a picture is titled 'figure'.
For example, 'FIgure 1. Photograph of a butterfly' or 'Figure 1. Sunflowers by Gogh', not 'Picture 1. Photograph of a butterfly' or 'Picture 1. Sunflowers by Gogh'.

Why isn't 'picture' used in articles?
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    thefreedictionary give the definition: 8. An illustration printed from an engraved plate or block.

    So it probably comes from the way the pictures/photos/drawing were originally transferred to print.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    A picture is a specific type of illustration. A figure can be a picture. It can also be a graph, a diagram, or any of several other things that are not pictures. "Figure" is the most general term for all the illustrations in an article.


    Senior Member
    Can I say "let's look at some figures" by pointing to some graphs, charts, tables, and flow charts, which have been drawn on a blackboard. I mean if we can use "figure" to refer to graph, chart, table, flow chart and so on.
    Last edited:
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