a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole or the whole for a part, the special for the general or the general for the special, as in ten sail for ten ships or a Croesus for a rich man.
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- syn·ec·doch·ic [sin-ik-dok-ik], /ˌsɪn ɪkˈdɒk ɪk/, syn·ec·doch·i·cal, adjective
- syn·ec·doch·i·cal·ly, adverb
- Schenectady, synecdoche
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use synecdoche in a sentence
They became a synecdoche for the woman herself: conservative, intimidating, feminine.
Reddit is a synecdoche for the Internet: a set of tools for sharing and organizing content.
Sex appeal,” Levy writes, “has become a synecdoche of all appeal.
After synecdoche, it will be impossible not to take notice of her talent.
synecdoche puts a part for the whole, or a whole for the part; as, "The harbor was crowded with masts."Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism | F. V. N. Painter
Blind mouths: 'mouths' is used, by synecdoche, for gluttons, as the five preceding verses show.
synecdoche is a species of metonymy, and has the same effect of giving vividness.Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism | F. V. N. Painter
When this relation is that of a part to the whole or of the whole to a part, the figure is synecdoche.Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10 | Charles Herbert Sylvester
The synecdoche, in which a part is put for the whole, as the sword for war, is in its nature essentially a metonymy.Companion to the Bible | E. P. Barrows
British Dictionary definitions for synecdoche
a figure of speech in which a part is substituted for a whole or a whole for a part, as in 50 head of cattle for 50 cows, or the army for a soldier
- synecdochic (ˌsɪnɛkˈdɒkɪk) or synecdochical, adjective
- synecdochically, adverb
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