- The definition of a synecdoche is a figure of speech using a word that is a part to represent a whole, a whole to represent a part or a material to represent an object.
An example of a synecdoche is referring to a vehicle as "wheels," one policeman as "the police," cola as "Coke" and credit cards as "plastic."
synecdoche definition by Webster's New World
Origin: Late Middle English altered (infl. by L) ; from synodoche ; from Midieval Latin sinodoche, for Classical Latin synecdoche ; from Classical Greek synekdochē, literally , a receiving together ; from synekdechesthai, to receive together ; from syn-, together plush ekdechesthai, to receive ; from ek-, from plush dechesthai, to receive ; from Indo-European base an unverified form de- from source decent
synecdoche definition by American Heritage Dictionary
Origin: Middle English synodoches, from Medieval Latin synodoche, alteration of Latin synecdochē, from Greek sunekdokhē, from sunekdekhesthai, to take on a share of : sun-, syn- + ekdekhesthai, to understand (ek-, out of; see eghs in Indo-European roots + dekhesthai, to take; see dek- in Indo-European roots).
- synˌec·dochˈic , synˌec·dochˈi·cal adjective