met·​o·​nym ˈme-tə-ˌnim How to pronounce metonym (audio)
: a word used in metonymy

Examples of metonym in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dworkin, metonym for an outmoded Second Wave stridency? Sam Huber, The New York Review of Books, 26 Jan. 2023 Garnering popular acclaim as well as respect from academic historians, the books have helped redefine the 1960s—often popularly a metonym for the left-wing counterculture—as a time also marked by the growing power of conservative political organizing. Patrick Iber, The New Republic, 11 Aug. 2020 Thanks to the 185delAG mutation and its two companions, BRCA has become a metonym of cancer risk for every woman. Jeff Wheelwright, Discover Magazine, 20 May 2012 Like baby feet, pregnant bodies have become a metonym for antiabortion views. Sonja Sharpstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2022 In Kitamura’s books, career is frequently a metonym for character. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 24 July 2021 In so many ways, golf serves as a metonym for power. Whizy Kim,, 17 June 2021 Within a year, its name was a metonym for excellence in the art of raw fish. Pete Wells, New York Times, 14 Jan. 2020 This little glass disk designed as corrective eyewear wound up as a comic prop, a universal metonym for wealth and snobbery. Austin Grossman, The Atlantic, 13 Oct. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'metonym.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


back-formation from metonymy

First Known Use

1862, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of metonym was in 1862

Dictionary Entries Near metonym

Cite this Entry

“Metonym.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on metonym

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