Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A word used in metonymy.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A name given to a group (usually a genus) after a different name had been applied to another member (usually a species) of the same group. According to the American code of botanical nomenclature, a metonym is invalid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A word that names an object from a single characteristic of it or of a closely related object; a word used in metonymy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a word that denotes one thing but refers to a related thing

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Back-formation from metonymy.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Back-formation from metonymy.

Examples

  • “Bartús” is evidently formed “on the weight” of “Bartút;” and his metonym is a caricature, a chaff fit for Fellahe.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • But it is worthwhile teasing this apart a little, unbinding the different aspects of rhetorics lumped together in one component and separating out the semiotic layering (i.e. the use of metaphor and metonym) stuck in with the second.

    On the Sublime

  • But it is worthwhile teasing this apart a little, unbinding the different aspects of rhetorics lumped together in one component and separating out the semiotic layering (i.e. the use of metaphor and metonym) stuck in with the second.

    Archive 2010-03-01

  • In so doing, they have, as Janet Halley has observed, "treat [ed] sodomy as a metonym for homosexual personhood," 26 thereby attempting to criminalize homosexuality itself.

    'Trivial Complaints:' The Role of Privacy in Domestic Violence Law and Activism in the U.S.

  • In response to Brunetti's observation that she was displaying a certain lack of multicultural sensitivity, she replied that half the trouble and most of the violence in the world would be eliminated if men were forced to do their own ironing, 'which word I use as a metonym for all housework, please understand', she had hastened to add.

    Sunday Salon: building loyal readers

  • The nation's press lords waged an endless campaign against anyone who taught it; even the word yoga became a metonym for secret doorways and sex worship.

    'The Great Oom'

  • In other words, Hindki as used locally referenced Hindus in the first instance, but it served as a metonym for all Indians in Afghanistan.

    Connecting Histories in Afghanistan: Market Relations and State Formation on a Colonial Frontier

  • The characterisation of magic as a semiotic skill has, in fact, resulted in a back-reading whereby it becomes symbolic of semiotic skill itself -- a metonym of the power of language, of consciousness, of "spirit".

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • In response to Brunetti's observation that she was displaying a certain lack of multicultural sensitivity, she replied that half the trouble and most of the violence in the world would be eliminated if men were forced to do their own ironing, 'which word I use as a metonym for all housework, please understand', she had hastened to add.

    February 2008

  • In response to Brunetti's observation that she was displaying a certain lack of multicultural sensitivity, she replied that half the trouble and most of the violence in the world would be eliminated if men were forced to do their own ironing, 'which word I use as a metonym for all housework, please understand', she had hastened to add.

    Sunday Salon: building loyal readers

Comments

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  • Can somebody clarify how metonymy is different from synecdoche?

    September 20, 2007

  • As I understand it, synecdoche is a type of metonymy. There's a fairly good explanation here.

    September 20, 2007

  • Try this page http://www.answers.com/metonymy?cat=health&gwp=13

    Essentially, synecdoche is a special case of metonymy, where the replacing word is actually part of what is being placed.

    September 20, 2007

  • To paraphrase Twain, "But wait, you repeated what I said." ;->

    September 20, 2007

  • This looks like the beginning of a war.

    September 20, 2007

  • War? Huh. Good God, y'all. What is it good for?

    September 20, 2007

  • Absolutely nothing.

    September 21, 2007

  • Say it again...

    September 21, 2007