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(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 ?
13) These metonymies are not isolated: they interact by means of the metonymic complex INSTRUMENT FOR ACTION FOR RESULT.
Several myths were created from the original expression "IMF" when associated with other concurrent events and ideas through metonymies.
In these novels, metaphors and metonymies uncover new possibilities for expressing (or recuperating) oneself.
However, in de Mendoza Ibanez's view of metonymy, only target-in-source metonymies involve (secondary) domain highlighting, which is accompanied (if not triggered) by domain reduction.
Potential metonymies were defined as any situation where the words or gestures expressed a concept that was related to, but not identical to, the intended concepts.
In addition to high-level metaphor and metonymy, the interaction of two or more metaphors or two or more metonymies may also play a regulating role in subsumption and amalgamation processes (Ruiz de Mendoza and Mairal-Uson 2011).
Furthermore, the constructions also shed light on the dynamic nature of meaning-making, which heavily relies on cognitive operations (metaphors, metonymies, blends), pragmatic inferencing and world knowledge.
Among the topics are book history and English hegemony, the Albatross Press and the Third Reich, the serial revolution at the periphery, the reception of imperial adventure romance in Africa, Indian Ocean port cities and postcolonial printing, and book history and the metonymies of the text.
Metonymy has always been conceived as being a kind of connection between a "whole" and a "part", albeit in Cognitive Linguistics, the array of metonymies is more richly detailed.
To better understand the artefactual metonymies all around us, we can consider how everyday objects are often more than the material items that they seem to be.
Diachronically, nuclear categories tend to withstand time, while abstract and peripheral new meanings arise from them, brought about by metaphors and metonymies (main categorisation mechanisms according to cognitive linguistics).
Centered around extended metonymies representing human condition and situations, the poems are centered around living or mythical creatures such as carp and the chupacabras (literally, "goatsucker," a diabolical night creature).