Definition of antonomasia
: the use of a proper name to designate a member of a class (such as a Solomon for a wise ruler); also : the use of an epithet or title in place of a proper name (such as the Bard for Shakespeare)
Did You Know?
What's in a name? When it comes to "antonomasia," quite a bit. English speakers picked up that appellative term from Latin, but it traces back to Greek, descending from the verb antonomazein, meaning "to call by a new name," which itself developed from the Greek noun onoma, meaning "name." You may already be familiar with some other English "onoma" descendants, such as "onomatopoeia" (the naming of something in imitation of the sound associated with it), "polyonymous" (having multiple names), and "toponymy" (the place-names of a region). "Antonomasia" has been naming names in English since the mid-16th century.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up antonomasia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).