/mi ton"euh mee/, n. Rhet.
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."
[1540-50; < LL metonymia < Gk metonymía change of name; see MET-, -ONYM, -Y3]

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      (from Greek metōnymia, “change of name,” or “misnomer”), figure of speech in which the name of an object or concept is replaced with a word closely related to or suggested by the original, as “crown” to mean “king” (“The power of the crown was mortally weakened”) or an author for his works (“I'm studying Shakespeare”). A familiar Shakespearean example is Mark Antony's speech in Julius Caesar in which he asks of his audience: “Lend me your ears.”

      Metonymy is closely related to synecdoche, the naming of a part for the whole or a whole for the part, and is a common poetic device. Metonymy has the effect of creating concrete and vivid images in place of generalities, as in the substitution of a specific “grave” for the abstraction “death.” Metonymy is standard journalistic and headline practice as in the use of “city hall” to mean “municipal government” and of the “White House” to mean the “president of the United States.”

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • metonymy — is a figure of speech in which an attribute or property is used to refer to the person or thing that has it, e.g. the White House for the American presidency and the Crown for the British monarchy. In the proverb The pen is mightier than the… …   Modern English usage

  • Metonymy — Me*ton y*my (m[ e]*t[o^]n [i^]*m[y^]; 277), n. [L. metonymia, Gr. metwnymi a; meta , indicating change + o nyma, for o noma a name: cf. F. m[ e]tonymie. See {Name}.] (Rhet.) A trope in which one word is put for another that suggests it; as, we… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • metonymy — (n.) 1560s, from Fr. métonymie (16c.) and directly from L.L. metonymia, from Gk. metonymia, lit. 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… …   Etymology dictionary

  • metonymy — [mə tän′ə mē] n. pl. metonymies [LL metonymia < Gr metōnymia < meta, other (see META ) + onoma, onyma,NAME] a figure of speech in which the name of one thing is used in place of that of another associated with or suggested by it (Ex.: “the… …   English World dictionary

  • metonymy — metonym ► NOUN ▪ a word or expression used as a substitute for something with which it is closely associated, e.g. Washington for the US government. DERIVATIVES metonymic adjective metonymy noun. ORIGIN from Greek met numia change of name …   English terms dictionary

  • metonymy — noun (plural mies) Etymology: Latin metonymia, from Greek metōnymia, from meta + ōnymon onym Date: 1547 a figure of speech consisting of the use of the name of one thing for that of another of which it is an attribute or with which it is… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • metonymy — См. metonìmia …   Пятиязычный словарь лингвистических терминов

  • metonymy — noun The use of a single characteristic or name of an object to identify an entire object or related object …   Wiktionary

  • metonymy — me·ton·y·my (mə tonґĭ me) [meta + Gr. onyma name] a disturbance of language seen in schizophrenic disorders in which an inappropriate but related term is used instead of the correct one …   Medical dictionary

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