metonymy was our Word of the Day on 09/12/2013. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of metonymy from the Web
Often confused with a synecdoche, where a part of a whole represents the whole, a metonymy represents a thing by using another closely related thing.
This makes orgasm a metonymy, a figure of speech wherein a concept is referred to by something closely associated with it.
Now even longer at 667 yards, the hole became a metonymy, a figure of speech in which a part stands for the whole.
The general connection, then, is that in both watchmaking and gunmaking the term has a history of being used to denote diameter and in both cases, to some extent, has come to refer to a thing whose diameter was specified (maybe by metonymy).
Beyond the day’s stories, however, artists have often used (print) newspapers as metonymies for the flow and acceleration of information.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'metonymy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
When Mark Antony asks the people of Rome to lend him their ears in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, he is employing the rhetorical device known as metonymy. Derived via Latin from Greek metonymia (from meta-, meaning "among," with, or after, and onyma, meaning "name"), metonymy often appears in news articles and headlines, as when journalists use the term "crown" to refer to a king or queen. Another common example is the use of an author's name to refer to works written by that person, as in "He is studying Hemingway." Metonymy is closely related to synecdoche, which refers to the naming of a part of something to refer to the whole thing (or vice versa), as in "We hired extra hands to help us."
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