Used in a sense that is tropical, as a metaphor; not literal; -- applied to words and expressions.
Abounding in figures of speech; flowery; florid; as, a highly figurative description.
usually applied to language that uses figures of speech. Figurative language heightens meaning by implicitly or explicitly representing something in terms of some other thing, the assumption being that the "other thing" will be more familiar to the reader.
language ( FIG·u·ra·tive LAN·guage). Language that is more metaphorical than literal.
(used of the meanings of words or text) not literal; using figures of speech; "figurative language"
descriptive of words or phrases which are used in a different way from the usual meaning; figurative language is often used to give a vivid mental image. Example: The peace talks between the two enemies were torpedoed by the sudden increase in military operations. (Here 'torpedoed' is not used in its 'real' sense, but is used figuratively)
not in its original, usual, literal, or exact sense of reference (Webster's New World Dictionary).