Borrowed from Latin synecdochē, from Ancient Greek συνεκδοχή (sunekdokhḗ, “receiving together”).
- IPA(key): /sɪˈnɛk.də.ki/, /sɪˈnɛk.doʊ.ki/
- fifty head of cattle — part (head) for whole (animal)
- a fleet of ships, fifty sail deep — part (sail) for whole (ship)
- the police knocked down my door — whole (the police) for part (some police officers)
- hand me a Kleenex — subclass (brand named product) for class (all similar products)
- China maintains closer high-level ties with Pyongyang — country (China) for its government (Chinese government) and capital (Pyongyang) for its country (North Korea)
synecdoche (countable and uncountable, plural synecdoches)
- (rhetoric) A figure of speech that uses the name of a part of something to represent the whole, or the whole to represent a part.
- Synonyms: pars pro toto, totum pro parte
- Hypernym: metonymy
- 2002, Christopher Hitchens, "Martin Amis: Lightness at Midnight", The Atlantic, Sep 2002:
- "Holocaust" can become a tired synecdoche for war crimes in general.
2017 May 17, Dorian Lynskey, “The 20-year-old black mirror that reflects the world today”, in BBC.com Culture:
Perhaps being in a touring band was, to Yorke, a synecdoche for the modern condition: disorientation, alienation, rootlessness, exhaustion, lack of control, occasional derangement, constant motion.
- (rhetoric) The use of this figure of speech.
- Synonym: synecdochy
Technically, a synecdoche is a part of the referent while a metonym is connected or associated but not necessarily a part of it.
figure of speech that uses the name of a part of something to represent the whole