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Related to metonymy: synecdoche


metonymy (mĭtŏnˈəmē), 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 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.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The dominance of metonymy is the theme of Peterfreund's discussion of The Cenci in his sixth chapter.
Let us turn to a typical example of nominal metonymy, such as read Langacker in (2b), where Langacker is understood to designate scholarly output from Langacker.
If 'knowledge' is the dominant code then metonymy is its semiotic mechanism.
In the traditional view, metonymy was regarded as a figure of speech in rhetoric that leads to "a shift of a word meaning from the entity it stands for to a 'contiguous' entity" (Ullman 1957: 232; as stated in Croft 1993: 347).
.), and then two chapters that work through Hussein's toolbox of rhetorical figures for both poems: chapter six for imagery (metonymy, simile, metaphor, analogy, and loose trope) and chapter seven for a further set of figures, ranging from antithesis to rhyme, that unlike those in chapter six serve to create "a certain sound effect" (p.
a set of correspondences) between two different conceptual domains, a metonymy is a domain-internal conceptual mapping.
In his work on literary topology as a way of "thinking in terms of scalar reading," (80) Piper remarks that "as a 'model,' the topological diagram is always both metonym and metaphor." (81) Although the distinction here is between metonymy and metaphor, it can be easily redrawn between metonymy and synecdoche, given Pipers own description of topology's "metaphoricity" as its "claims to represent a whole." (82) The corresponding metonymic logic of a topology, then, is its "reticulation of numerousness," (83) its emphasis on the plurality of relations among parts as parts that Piper calls "a form of ratio." (84) Nor is this sense of metonymy, "an unceasing chain of figurai parts," (85) limited to Piper's topologies.
Throughout this chapter, Betteridge finds tropes throughout More's works: the book is a metaphor in that Christ's body is a book, and the book is a metonymy in that its contents are to be consumed like the Eucharist.