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Related to 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 ?
Interestingly, African American slang employs many of the same figurative devices found in poetic language: metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, allusion, hyperbole, meiosis, simile and personification.
This kind of metonymy was found 133 times in Nafsat-Al-Masdur.
ON SHOW: Huddersfield University first year contemporary art student, Emily Hardman, front left, with her expanding foam sculptures and fellow first year students who also have work on display in the Metonymy exhibition held at the Byram Arcade, Huddersfield.
for destabilization is metonymy, which informs the operating systems of most of his work, and which he consistently invokes in his writing and teaching as a renewed field of investigation.
the metonymy ORDER FOR CUSTOMER: The ham and cheese omelet wants another orange juice.
The importance of the sight of the body and the logic of metonymy are spectacularly connected here:
Here also, a metonymy between the national exigency as a connotation of IMF and the resulting necessary economic behavior took place to create a new signified in the signification process of the acronym IMF.
Representations of war and the materiality of war itself thus do not stand for one another; rather, they coexist in discrepant yet linked realms, a fact which illustrates the principle of contiguity in metonymy.
The terms metonymy and metaphor have rarely been used carefully.
We do not only use cognitive metaphor when describing our Essential states as distracted or concentrated, but the metonymy used in Indo-European languages, unlike in Japanese, hides the real meaning of the words.
Unfortunately, Pech's strained analysis depends on an uncritical acceptance of Luce Irigaray's claims that the trope of metonymy is linked with femininity, as well as that masculinity is associated with solid mechanics, femininity with fluidity.
Like many other contemporary poets, Powell instinctively grasps at metonymy not merely as a local effect but as a structural device.