- 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.
Origin of 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
Word Origin and History for synecdochic
late 14c., "part for whole or vice versa," from Medieval Latin synodoche, from Late Latin synecdoche, from Greek synekdokhe, literally "a receiving together or jointly," from synekdekhesthai "supply a thought or word, take with something else," from syn- "with" (see syn-) + ek "out" (see ex-) + dekhesthai "to receive," related to dokein "seem good" (see decent). Figure in which an attribute or adjunct is substituted for the thing meant ("head" for "cattle," etc.).