figure out

[figure out] {v.} 1. To find an answer by thinking about (someproblem or difficulty); solve.

Tom couldn't figure out the lastproblem on the arithmetic test.

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

Mary couldn'tfigure out why her cake tasted so funny until she found salt mixed inthe 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).