Synecdoche

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Synecdoche'

Synecdoche Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    synecdoche n : substituting a more inclusive term for a less inclusive one or vice versa
Synecdoche Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Synecdoche \Syn*ec"do*che\ (s[i^]n*[e^]k"d[-o]*k[-e]), n. [L. synecdoche, Gr. synekdochh`, fr. to receive jointly; sy`n with + ? to receive; ? out + ? to receive.] (Rhet.) 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. --Bain.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Synecdoche'


Synecdoche (pronounced /sɪˈnɛkdəkiː/; from Greek synekdoche (συνεκδοχή), meaning "simultaneous understanding") is a figure of speech in which a term is used in one of the following ways:

Synecdoche is closely related to metonymy (the figure of speech in which a term denoting one thing is used to refer to a related thing); indeed, synecdoche is sometimes considered a subclass of metonymy. It is more distantly related to other figures of speech, such as metaphor.

More rigorously, metonymy and synecdoche may be considered as sub-species of metaphor, intending metaphor as a type of conceptual substitution (as Quintilian does in Institutio oratoria Book VIII). In Lanham's Handlist of Rhetorical Terms, the three terms have somewhat restrictive definitions, arguably in tune with a certain interpretation of their etymologies from Greek:

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