| Definition -
Based on or involving the use of figures of speech such as metaphors.
1. As opposed to the literal, which is the use of words in their concrete sense.
Example - Refering to the White House as the place where the president lives is to use the term in its literal sense. Using it to refer to the office of the American president — e.g. a White-house spokesman — is to use it figuratively.
Oxford English Dictionary - Its first citation in this sense is from the 13th century:
"Legeauns & figuratif spekynges."
(Prose Legends in Anglia VIII. 134)