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Definition of "metonymy" [me•ton•y•my]

  • A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated, as in the use of Washington for the United States government or of the sword for military power. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "metonymy" in a sentence
  • "Not all figuration is metaphoric though; in metonymy, the process of interpretation is not based on resemblances but on other forms of association -- the association of a crown with a king, for example, such that we use the artefact as a metonymic stand-in for the person."
  • "Hope, by a metonymy, is put for the thing hoped for, namely, heaven and the felicities thereof, called emphatically that hope, because it is the great thing we look and long and wait for; and a blessed hope, because, when attained, we shall be completely happy for ever."
  • ""metonymy" is a blind, mutilated metonymy — in fact, more of a catachresis than a metonymy."