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From Late Latin metonymia, from Ancient Greek μετωνυμίᾱ (metōnumíā, change of name), from μετά (metá, other) + ὄνομα (ónoma, name).


  • (file)


  • The White House released its official report today.
    “The White House” for “The presidential administration”
  • The Crown has enacted a new social security policy.
    “The Crown” for “The government of the United Kingdom”
  • Put it on the plastic – material “plastic” for object credit card

metonymy (countable and uncountable, plural metonymies)

  1. (rhetoric) The use of a single characteristic or part of an object, concept or phenomenon to identify the entire object, concept, phenomenon or a related object.
    Coordinate term: metaphor
    Hypernyms: trope, figure of speech
    Hyponyms: synecdoche, synecdochy
    • [1835, L[arret] Langley, A Manual of the Figures of Rhetoric, [], Doncaster: Printed by C. White, Baxter-Gate, OCLC 1062248511, page 7:
      Metonymy does new names impose,
      And things for things by near relation shews.
    • 1891 September 1, William Minto, “Practical talks on writing English”, in Theodor Flood, editor, The Chautauquan, volume 13, OCLC 752442901, page 279:
      ...the principle of metonymy is simply to substitute for the plain name of a thing a name or phrase based on something connected with it.
  2. (countable) A metonym.

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