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(sĭnĕk`dəkē), figure of speech, a species of metaphormetaphor
[Gr.,=transfer], in rhetoric, a figure of speech in which one class of things is referred to as if it belonged to another class. Whereas a simile states that A is like B, a metaphor states that A is B or substitutes B for A.
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, in which a part of a person or thing is used to designate the whole—thus, "The house was built by 40 hands" for "The house was built by 20 people." See metonymymetonymy
, 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.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a figure of speech and variant of metonymy by which the whole is made known by means of a part. There are two types of synecdoche. In the first, the whole is represented by a, part, which replaces the whole. For example, “Hey, beard! how can I get from here to Pliushkin’s?” (N. Gogol). Here the meanings of “man with a beard,” “bearded one” (“villein”), and “beard” are combined. In the second type of synecdoche, one grammatical number is used instead of the other: “And until dawn the Frenchman [the French] could be heard rejoicing” (M. Iu. Lermontov).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
What he experiences in Vietnam, however, is not Vietnam but, as the first image he encounters on arriving synecdochically suggests--a sign naming the army base "Fort Dodge"--a simulacrum of exceptionalist America's errand in the wilderness.
When Truman finally breaches the wall of the panopticon, and the gaze of Christof and the gaze of the world no longer burden him, he recognizes that he is free to "direct" his own departure, at last being agentic and therefore genuine in his mantra of "good afternoon, good evening, and good night," perhaps synecdochically standing in for the film's extradiegetic audience, suggesting that we turn our own gaze inward, possibly neutralizing the tyranny of the panopticon.
I have also always insisted that the face not be understood synecdochically as a name for the human body (the body of the other) as a whole, and/or in general.
Caughie posits that, in addition to functioning "synecdochically to figure Clare's status in the text," the letter also operates "metonymically to initiate a chain of connections that drives the plot forward," and, in doing so, suggests "not only aspects of Clare's identity ...
Miss Shanghai Wang Qiyao's declining life from youth to old age can be understood synecdochically as Shanghai's vicissitudes from the postwar to the post-revolutionary periods, (45) but then she is left behind when the city is back to its sprint at breakneck speed.
This subculture, synecdochically represented in both novels in the downtown bar, provides a framework for both identification and disidentification for the narrator.
They offer no insight into the deeper meaning of the child's death, and synecdochically of the genocide, beyond their obvious evocation of disconnection, absence, and loss--all important components of mourning.
Secrecy, at this level, contributes, to a large extent, to forging a cycle of concealment as an important feature of women relating to each other synecdochically. As a result, even though the complicated illegitimate affair causes a rupture in the Leong family, which is visualized in Leon's residence in the San Fran hotel, Ona's suicide as well as the daughters' departure from the family house at Salmon Alley, it also draws mother and daughter closer together in an intimate knot (Bone 69-70).
The speaker's name stands in synecdochically for all language, which he is attached to but ultimately attempts to relinquish.
Compson, the sickness, yellow fever, which Sutpen appears to have had operates synecdochically to point to larger questions of slave trade and consumption and because yellow fever is associated with vampirism both in folklore and in history; thus, the entire operation of the slave trade becomes marked as vampiric in the novel.
(31) And Adolphe is, according to an unpublished prefatory fragment, a tale in which affective freedom stands, synecdochically, for freedom in love, politics, and religion.