metonymy

[ mi-ton-uh-mee ]
/ mɪˈtɒn ə mi /

noun Rhetoric.

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.”

Nearby words

  1. metol,
  2. metolazone,
  3. metonic cycle,
  4. metonym,
  5. metonymical,
  6. metope,
  7. metopic,
  8. metopic suture,
  9. metopon,
  10. metopoplasty

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for metonymy


British Dictionary definitions for metonymy

metonymy

/ (mɪˈtɒnɪmɪ) /

noun plural -mies

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 for metonymy

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

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

Medicine definitions for metonymy

metonymy

[ mə-tŏnə-mē ]

n.

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.