from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. 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.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The use of a single characteristic or name of an object to identify an entire object or related object.
- n. A metonym.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A trope in which one word is put for another that suggests it
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In rhetoric, change of name; a trope or figure of speech that consists in substituting the name of one thing for that of another to which the former bears a known and close relation.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. substituting the name of an attribute or feature for the name of the thing itself (as in `they counted heads')
Late Latin metōnymia, from Greek metōnumiā : meta-, meta- + onuma, name; see nŏ̄-men- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin metonymia, from Ancient Greek μετονομασία (metōnumia, "change of name"), from μετά (meta, "other") + ὄνομα (onoma, "name"). (Wiktionary)