A figment is a product of somebody’s imagination; it has such characters as his thought impresses upon it.
It is true that when the Arabian romancer tells us that there was a lady named Scherherazade, he does not mean to be understood as speaking of the world of outward realities, and there is a great deal of fiction in what he is talking about. For the fictive is that whose characters depend upon what characters somebody attributes to it; and the story is, of course, the mere creation of the poet’s thought. Nevertheless, once he has imagined Scherherazade and made her young, beautiful, and endowed with a gift of spinning stories, it becomes a real fact that so he has imagined her, which fact he cannot destroy by pretending or thinking that he imagined her to be otherwise.
…the question of whether anything is real or is a figment is the question what a word or other symbol or concept denotes. If the attributes of or possible true assertions about an object could vary according to the way in which you or I or any man or actual body of single men, living at any time or times, might think about that object, then that object is what I call a figment.
As the contrary of “real” I employ the word fictile, without any implication of intentional falsification, any more than its absence.