Metonymy definition

mə-tŏnə-mē
Frequency:
A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated, as in the use of Washington for the United States government or of the sword for military power.
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The definition of a metonymy is a figure of speech in which one thing is replaced with a word closely associated with it.

An example of a metonymy is referring to the King as "the Crown."

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The use of a single characteristic or name of an object to identify an entire object or related object.
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(countable) A metonym.
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hyponyms
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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 White House” for “the President”)
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
metonymy
Plural:
metonymies

Origin of metonymy

  • Late Latin metōnymia from Greek metōnumiā meta- meta- onuma name nō̆-men- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Late Latin metonymia, from Ancient Greek μετονομασία (metōnumia, “change of name"), from μετά (meta, “other") + ὄνομα (onoma, “name").

    From Wiktionary