American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth 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.
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. It is a method of increasing the force or comprehensiveness of expression by the employment of figurative names that call up conceptions or associations of ideas not suggested by the literal ones, as Heaven for God, the Sublime Porte, for the Turkish government, head and heart for intellect and affection, the town for its inhabitants, the bottle for strong drink, etc. See
- n. The use of a single characteristic or name of an object to identify an entire object or related object.
- n. countable A metonym.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Rhet.) A trope in which one word is put for another that suggests it
- n. substituting the name of an attribute or feature for the name of the thing itself (as in `they counted heads')
- From Late Latin metonymia, from Ancient Greek μετονομασία (metōnumia, "change of name"), from μετά (meta, "other") + ὄνομα (onoma, "name"). (Wiktionary)
- 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)
“Not all figuration is metaphoric though; in metonymy, the process of interpretation is not based on resemblances but on other forms of association -- the association of a crown with a king, for example, such that we use the artefact as a metonymic stand-in for the person.”
“Hope, by a metonymy, is put for the thing hoped for, namely, heaven and the felicities thereof, called emphatically that hope, because it is the great thing we look and long and wait for; and a blessed hope, because, when attained, we shall be completely happy for ever.”
“metonymy" is a blind, mutilated metonymy — in fact, more of a catachresis than a metonymy.”
“By a well-known figure of speech, called metonymy, we use a word denoting the means by which we accomplish anything to denote the end accomplished; we exercise care over anything by means of foresight, and indicate that care by the word foresight.”
“The technique that McCloud uses in the second panel is called metonymy -- creating the meaning for something by showing a related thing.”
“The news media like to employ a figure of speech called metonymy and regularly claim to have received statements from streets and buildings.”
“Privy and closet are examples of euphemism by metonymy, which is the substitution of the name of an attribute of a thing for the thing itself: a toilet is a private place, therefore a privy.”
“Throughout, the metaphor of brother against brother is a kind of metonymy for civil butchery in which family members slaughter one another in a grim contest of reciprocity.”
“[FN#8] A manner of metonymy, meaning that he rested his cheek upon his right hand.”
“A Rose Is a Rose (Ralph), 2006, is less with the formal progression of the medium than with extrapolations of the embedded spirituality in earlier Abstract Expressionism, in this case by way of the concept of "metonymy" posited by Aboriginal cultures of her native”
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denoting or relating to names
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