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antonomasia

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noun an·ton·o·ma·sia \ˌan-tə-nō-ˈmā-zh(ē-)ə, (ˌ)an-ˌtä-nə-\

Definition of antonomasia

  1. :  the use of a proper name to designate a member of a class (as a Solomon for a wise ruler); also :  the use of an epithet or title in place of a proper name (as the Bard for Shakespeare)



Origin of antonomasia

Latin, use of an epithet for a proper name, from Greek, from antonomazein to call by a new name, from anti- + onomazein to name, from onoma name — more at name


First Known Use: circa 1550


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