from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A figure of speech in which a part is used 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).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A figure or trope by which a part of a thing is put for the whole, the whole for a part, the species for the genus, the genus for the species, or the name of the material for the thing made, and similar.
- n. The use of synecdoche; synecdochy.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A figure or trope by which a part of a thing is put for the whole (as, fifty sail for fifty ships), or the whole for a part (as, the smiling year for spring), the species for the genus (as, cutthroat for assassin), the genus for the species (as, a creature for a man), the name of the material for the thing made, etc.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In rhetoric, a figure or trope by which the whole of a thing is put for a part, or a part for the whole, as the genus for the species, or the species for the genus, etc.: as, for example, a fleet of ten sail (for ships); a master employing new hands (for workmen). Compare metonymy.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. substituting a more inclusive term for a less inclusive one or vice versa
Bill would have found a way to include the word "synecdoche" somewhere in that last sentence.
The literary term synecdoche -- confusing a part for a whole -- is helpful in understanding how late twentieth-century Americans constructed an image of youth in crisis, as shocking episodes reinforced an impression that childhood was disintegrating.
In the informative spirit of today's Chat Update, I should point out that genericide is a form of the twinned literary term "synecdoche" and "metonymy,"
Should I be ashamed to admit that I have found recourse to the word synecdoche in many conversations, several of them about the film itself?
In the figure we call synecdoche, a part of the whole becomes a name for the whole, or vice versa as in "sixty head of cattle" or "fifty sails."
Why, regardless of place and culture, do people insist upon this bizarre synecdoche, which is even permitted to become almost literal in the case of Dear Leader Kim Jong-il and his god-like father -- all other North Koreans being, in effect, little more than their bodily extensions?
And he says that this rule applies in two ways: either to the figure of speech called synecdoche, or to legitimate numbers.
One step farther, and Theobald would have discovered the true solution: he only required to know that _the shoes_, by a figure of rhetoric called synecdoche, may stand for the whole character and attributes of Hercules, to have saved himself the trouble of conjecturing an ingenious, though infinitely worse word, as a substitute.
You can look it up: A synecdoche is a figure of speech in which a part stands for the whole
Here we have a synecdoche, which is the result of a function shift, which in turn is a clipping of picture tube.