[ si-nek-duh-kee ]
See synonyms for synecdoche on
  1. 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

1350–1400; <Medieval Latin <Greek synekdochḗ, equivalent to syn-syn- + ekdochḗ act of receiving from another, equivalent to ek-ec- + -dochē, noun derivative of déchesthai to receive

Other words from synecdoche

  • syn·ec·doch·ic [sin-ik-dok-ik], /ˌsɪn ɪkˈdɒk ɪk/, syn·ec·doch·i·cal, adjective
  • syn·ec·doch·i·cal·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with synecdoche Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use synecdoche in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for synecdoche


/ (sɪnˈɛkdəkɪ) /

  1. 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

Origin of synecdoche

C14: via Latin from Greek sunekdokhē, from syn- + ekdokhē interpretation, from dekhesthai to accept

Derived forms of synecdoche

  • 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