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metonymy

[mi-ton-uh-mee]
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noun Rhetoric.
  1. a figure of speech that consists of the use of the name of one object or concept for that of another to which it is related, or of which it is a part, as “scepter” for “sovereignty,” or “the bottle” for “strong drink,” or “count heads (or noses)” for “count people.”

Origin of metonymy

1540–50; < Late Latin metōnymia < Greek metōnymía change of name; see met-, -onym, -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for metonymy

Historical Examples

  • Whether it be synecdoche, metaphor, or metonymy, there is still a figure.

    History of the Great Reformation, Volume IV

    J. H. Merle D'Aubign

  • The principal varieties of the trope are the metonymy and the metaphor.

  • The metonymy is founded on the relation of one thing to another.

  • In both cases the term so approximates to the meaning of Earth, doubtless by metonymy, as to be indistinguishable from it.

  • By metonymy from this supreme and metropolitan quarter of Greece, it means the whole country.


British Dictionary definitions for metonymy

metonymy

noun plural -mies
  1. the substitution of a word referring to an attribute for the thing that is meant, as for example the use of the crown to refer to a monarchCompare synecdoche
Derived Formsmetonymical (ˌmɛtəˈnɪmɪkəl) or metonymic, adjectivemetonymically, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Late Latin from Greek: a changing of name, from meta- (indicating change) + onoma name
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for metonymy

n.

1560s, from French métonymie (16c.) and directly from Late Latin metonymia, from Greek metonymia, literally "a change of name," related to metonomazein "to call by a new name; to take a new name," from meta- "change" (see meta-) + onyma, dialectal form of onoma "name" (see name (n.)). Figure in which the name of one thing is used in place of another that is suggested by or associated with it (e.g. the Kremlin for "the Russian government"). Related: Metonymic; metonymical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

metonymy in Medicine

metonymy

([object Object])
n.
  1. In schizophrenia, a language disturbance in which an inappropriate but related word is used in place of the correct one.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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