From Late Latin metonymia, from Ancient Greek μετονομασία (metonomasía, “change of name”), from μετά (metá, “other”) + ὄνομα (ónoma, “name”).
metonymy (countable and uncountable, plural metonymies)
- The use of a single characteristic or name of an object to identify an entire object or related object.
1891 September 1, William Minto, “Practical talks on writing English”, in Theodor Flood, editor, The Chautauquan, volume 13, OCLC 752442901, page 279:
- ...the principle of metonymy is simply to substitute for the plain name of a thing a name or phrase based on something connected with it.
- (countable) A metonym.
- The White House released its official report today. — "The White House" for "The presidential administration"
- The Crown has enacted a new social security policy. — "The Crown" for "The government of the United Kingdom".
- A crowd of fifty heads — where "head" stands for person.
- Put it on the plastic — material (plastic) for object (credit card)