A figure of speech in which the name of a part is used to stand for the whole (as hand for sailor ), the whole for a part (as the law for police officer ), the specific for the general (as cutthroat for assassin ), the general for the specific (as thief for pickpocket ), or the material for the thing made from it (as steel for sword ).
A figure of speech in which a part is used for a whole, an individual for a class, a material for a thing, or the reverse of any of these (Ex.: bread for food, the army for a soldier, or copper for a penny)
(rhetoric) A figure of speech that uses the name of a part of something to represent the whole.
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."
Origin of synecdoche
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Latin synecdoche, from Ancient Greek ÏƒÏ…Î½ÎµÎºÎ´Î¿Ï‡Î® (sunekdokhe, “receiving together").