Shakespeare's Macbeth employs synecdoche when he orders a servant out of his presence with the command "Take thy face hence."
"At times, Dos Passos suggests that New York City is a synecdoche for a larger, unrepresentable global society, which effectively transgresses any clear boundary between domestic and foreign policies ." -- From John Carlos Rowe's 2011 book Afterlives of Modernism
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"Synecdoche," from Greek "syn-" ("together") and "ekdochē" ("interpretation"), is a good word to know if you are a budding author. Writers, and especially poets, use synecdoche in several different ways to create vivid imagery. Most frequently, synecdoche involves substituting a part for the whole ("fifty sail" for "fifty ships"). Less commonly, it involves putting the whole for the part ("society" for "high society"), the species for the genus ("cutthroat" for "assassin"), the genus for the species ("a creature" for "a man"), or the material for the thing made ("boards" for "stage"). Synecdoche is similar to metonymy, the use of the name of one thing in place of something associated with it (such as "Shakespeare" for "the works of Shakespeare").
Word Family Quiz: What relative of "synecdoche" can refer to the combination of parts or elements so as to form a whole? The answer is ...
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