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noun syn·ec·do·che \sə-ˈnek-də-(ˌ)kē\

Definition of SYNECDOCHE

:  a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole (as fifty sail for fifty ships), the whole for a part (as society for high society), the species for the genus (as cutthroat for assassin), the genus for the species (as a creature for a man), or the name of the material for the thing made (as boards for stage)
syn·ec·doch·ic \ˌsi-ˌnek-ˈdä-kik\ adjective
syn·ec·doch·i·cal \-ˈdä-ki-kəl\ adjective
syn·ec·doch·i·cal·ly \-ki-k(ə-)lē\ adverb


Latin, from Greek synekdochē, from syn- + ekdochē sense, interpretation, from ekdechesthai to receive, understand, from ex from + dechesthai to receive; akin to Greek dokein to seem good — more at ex-, decent
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile


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