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meronym

[ mer-uh-nim ]
/ ˈmɛr əˌnɪm /
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noun

a term that specifies a part of something but that refers to the whole of the thing, as, for example, the word hands in “needing more hands to finish the project,” where hands refers to people, and the term set of wheels in “driving a new set of wheels,” where set of wheels refers to an automobile.

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See also synecdoche.

Origin of meronym

First recorded in 1965–70 (in sense “midpoint between two extremes”); blend of mero- + -onym
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for meronym

meronym
/ (ˈmɛrəʊˌnɪm) /

noun

a part of something used to refer to the whole, such as faces meaning people, as in they've seen a lot of faces come and go
from Greek meros part + onuma 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
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