Borrowed from Latin synecdochē, from Ancient Greek συνεκδοχή (sunekdokhḗ, “receiving together”) from σύν (sún, “with”) + ἐκ (ek, “out of”) + δέχεσθαι (dékhesthai, “to accept”), this last element related to δοκέω (dokéō, “to think, suppose, seem”).
- IPA(key): /sɪˈnɛk.də.ki/, /sɪˈnɛk.doʊ.ki/
- fifty head of cattle – part (head) for whole (animal)
- a fleet of ships, fifty sail deep – part (sail) for whole (ship)
- the police knocked down my door – whole (the police) for part (some police officers)
- hand me a Kleenex – subclass (brand named product) for class (all similar products)
- China maintains closer high-level ties with Pyongyang – country (China) for its government (Chinese government) and capital (Pyongyang) for its country (North Korea)
synecdoche (countable and uncountable, plural synecdoches)
- (rhetoric) A figure of speech that uses the name of a part of something to represent the whole, or the whole to represent a part.
- Hyponyms: pars pro toto, totum pro parte
- Hypernym: metonymy
[1835, L[arret] Langley, A Manual of the Figures of Rhetoric, […], Doncaster: Printed by C. White, Baxter-Gate, OCLC 1062248511, page 9:
Synecdoche the whole for part will take,
Or part for whole, just for the metre's sake.]
- 2002, Christopher Hitchens, "Martin Amis: Lightness at Midnight", The Atlantic, Sep 2002:
- "Holocaust" can become a tired synecdoche for war crimes in general.
2017 May 17, Dorian Lynskey, “The 20-year-old black mirror that reflects the world today”, in BBC.com Culture:
Perhaps being in a touring band was, to Yorke, a synecdoche for the modern condition: disorientation, alienation, rootlessness, exhaustion, lack of control, occasional derangement, constant motion.
- (rhetoric) The use of this figure of speech.
- Synonym: synecdochy
Technically, a synecdoche is a part of the referent while a metonym is connected or associated but not necessarily a part of it.
figure of speech that uses the name of a part of something to represent the whole
From Latin synecdoche, from Ancient Greek συνεκδοχή (sunekdokhḗ, “receiving together”).
synecdoche f (plural synecdoches, diminutive synecdochetje n)
- (literature) synecdoche