(redirected from synecdochical)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


(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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
If readers missed the significance of this synecdochical collapse, the article clarifies:
Because these perceptions were connected with shifting British attitudes to Russia as a whole, the story moves beyond the biographical to take on a synecdochical meaning.
In the end, however, I tend to judge the effectiveness of my analytic work solely on the basis of how well it reflects my own understanding of the music, whether presented in a note-by-note or some synecdochical form.
Consequently, the possibility of understanding the forces of history in a given society is aborted, simply because it is a synecdochical configuration, whereby the parts (a social formation, or several) are taken for the whole (the totality of the social spectrum).
(16) In all these accounts, each ruler bears a synecdochical relation to his empire: the demise of a ruler equals the demise of an empire.
This is a synecdochical strategy which affirms the whole over its parts and is thereby a suitable instrument for suggesting the permanent, the harmonious, the appointed; hence the ordered, but also the deja vu; therefore the unchangeable, and consequently the inevitable -- in the end, phasing may serve to emphasize the inevitability of change, time, Fate itself.
In `The Romans in films', Roland Barthes shows that `Roman-ness' can be established by a few strong, synecdochical signs: locks, drapery, classic profiles.(45) We exploit the sign in order to represent.
To state this thesis in traditional rhetorical language, the fundamentally synecdochical and therefore integrative qualities of democratic culture are based on a part/whole symbiosis of people/government, yet this relationship - which is based on the entirely ambiguous yet all-important notion of the legitimacy of political representation - is not verifiable in any concrete, "objective" manner.
Generally consisting of a row of numbered heads with a corresponding list of names, the "Keys" imply that one's countenance secures one's person and depend on a synecdochical logic that is clearly appropriate to Crane's "The Monster."(24) More than a generic complaint about the cultural contradictions surrounding the declaration "all men are created equal," Crane's allusion to the Declaration establishes a relay between Henry's facelessness and the overdetermined visages of the Signers and critiques the logic of historical commemoration.
As previously noted, these tracts explicitly regard the Irish as belated exemplars of the heroic culture of the Celtic/Germanic peoples who, according to Spenser, "spread them selues into all countries in Christendome, of all which there is none but hath some mixture and sprincklinge, yf not through peopling of them."(34) Ireland, that is, provides a synecdochical glimpse into the cultural origins shared by all northern European nations, including, of course, England.(35) Hence Spenser's account of Irish racial origins simply transposes Tacitus's remarks on the native population of Britain.(36)
One measure of the success of this issue in complicating issues of academic "ownership" is that, stripped of the author-functions of Butler's and Martin's names (especially where the former's has become synecdochical for "queer theory"), the table of contents is as likely to announce itself as a special issue on post-colonial theory and critical race studies as on lesbian and gay studies.