figure as

figure (someone) as (something)

To think of or envision someone in a particular way or role. I don't figure him as any kind of genius, although he would certainly disagree.
See also: figure

figure someone as something

to think of a person as a particular type of person. I figured her as a reliable worker. We figured them all as good credit risks.
See also: figure
References in classic literature ?
He walked rapidly to the door of his studio, and in spite of his excitement he was struck by the soft light on Anna's figure as she stood in the shade of the entrance listening to Golenishtchev, who was eagerly telling her something, while she evidently wanted to look round at the artist.
8) Her spatial and tonal isolation from the surrounding figures, and their apparent obliviousness to her stunning presence, suggest that we should read the significance of this figure as different from the others, as Vasari implied, and as the Flemish painter Rubens later suggested in his interpretation of the figure as an intercessor in his own Transfiguration, executed in 1604-05 (Nancy, Musee des Beaux-Arts).