# figure out

figure out

**{v.}**1. To find an answer by thinking about (some problem or difficulty); solve.

Tom couldn't figure out the last problem on the arithmetic test.

Sam couldn't figure out how to print a program until the teacher showed him how.

Mary couldn't figure out why her cake tasted so funny until she found salt mixed in the sugar bag.

Compare: FIND OUT (1).

2. To learn how to explain; understand.

Laurence is an odd boy; I can't figure him out.

Compare: MAKE OUT (2).

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Source: A Dictionary of American Idioms