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Related to metonym: metonymy, synecdoche


(mĭtŏn`əmē), figure of speech in which an attribute of a thing or something closely related to it is substituted for the thing itself. Thus, "sweat" can mean "hard labor," and "Capitol Hill" represents the U.S. Congress.


the substitution of a word referring to an attribute of a thing for the thing itself, e. the ‘crown’ to refer to the monarch. The role of metonymy in social life is a topic especially in SEMIOLOGY. See also METAPHOR, SYMBOL.



(1) A trope based on the principle of contiguity. Like metaphor, metonymy is possible because a word may have a double or multiple meaning. Thus, in the phrase “I ate three plates” (I. A. Krylov), the word “plate” simultaneously denotes two phenomena—the food and the dish. In metonymy, as in metaphor, the direct meaning of a word is superimposed on its referential meaning. However, in metonymy the two components are joined by relationships of contiguity rather than of similarity.

In metonymy the phenomena forming an “object pair” may be related to each other in a number of ways. For example, they may be whole and part (the synecdoche “Hey, you—beard! How do we get to Pliushkin’s from here?” N. V. Gogol), object and material (“He ate not on silver, but on gold,” A. S. Griboedov), or content and container (“The stoked stove crackles,” A. S. Pushkin). They may also be characteristic and characterized (“Boldness conquers cities”) or creation and creator (“The muzhik . . . will bring Belinskii and Gogol home from the market,” N. A. Nekrasov).

The artistic features of metonymy depend on the author, the culture, and the literary style. (Mythological metonymy is found in works by classical writers, who, for example, used the name of the god Mars to refer to war.)

(2) The term “metonymy” is also used to designate the use of a word in its secondary meaning, when it is related to the primary meaning by the principle of contiguity. For example, “crystal has gone on sale” and “crystal is glass containing lead oxide.” Because this phenonenon is characterized not by “renaming” but by simple naming (nomination), by a single level of meaning, and by the absence of imagistic effect, it is more correct to call it metonymization.


References in periodicals archive ?
For example, when an elder does something, people can use the metonym tied to the personal story of who he/she is by using their name.
The spectral images of Fanon and Till become metonyms for anticolonial revolution and the US civil rights movement, respectively, even as they signal in Fanon their overlapping legacies in the "war on terror.
For Werner Sollors, this is the broad foundational myth of a shared "racial ancestry" (250) but in fiction this formulation readily serves as a metonym for family.
For the Karnak cafe's generation of wounded activists, the name Khalid Safwan has served as a metonym for state oppression.
Claverton is an eponym of the play, and the play is a metonym of the tradition.
The divine Word, then, is a metonym for God, and is not a hypostasis distinct from the divine.
But, in truth, Federalist 10 has not always stood resolutely for these principles in our practice--indeed, for over a hundred years, the text had virtually no place at all in the discourse--and its future viability, at least as a historical metonym, is now in some doubt.
The basilicas are not merely a metonym for the bishop and the bishop a metonym for the basilicas; rather they are understood to be physically connected by virtue of the bishop's mystical body, which is literally incorporatcd in all of them.
The personal narratives serve as a metonym for the experiences of First Nations people in Canada and the act of sharing helps these individuals to reconstruct their identities and heal old wounds.
Predictably, its use as a metonym for social action draws ire from those who view it as a case of liberals co-opting Judaism for their purposes.
35) In this sense both the ruins and the photographs of the jumpers had the potential to undermine the prevailing trend of anthropomorphizing the towers insofar as they translate the PEOPLE ARE BUILDINGS conceptual metaphor on the terrain vague of the metonym.
Literary characters may be referenced by some form of the proper name, a definite description, a general class word or a pronoun, or an agent metonym.