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antonomasia

[an-tuh-nuh-mey-zhuh] /ˌæn tə nəˈmeɪ ʒə/
noun
1.
Rhetoric. the identification of a person by an epithet or appellative that is not the person's name, as his lordship.
2.
the use of the name of a person who was distinguished by a particular characteristic, as Don Juan or Annie Oakley, to designate a person or group of persons having the same characteristic.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; < Latin < Greek, verbid of antonomázein to call by a new name, equivalent to ant- ant- + onomat- stem of ónoma name + -ia -ia
Related forms
antonomastic
[an-tuh-noh-mas-tik] /ˌæn tə noʊˈmæs tɪk/ (Show IPA),
antonomastical, adjective
antonomastically, adverb
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for antonomasia

antonomasia

/ˌæntənəˈmeɪzɪə/
noun (rhetoric)
1.
the substitution of a title or epithet for a proper name, such as his highness
2.
the use of a proper name for an idea: he is a Daniel come to judgment
Derived Forms
antonomastic (ˌæntənəˈmæstɪk) adjective
antonomastically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek, from antonomazein to name differently, from onoma name
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for antonomasia
n.

use of an epithet for a proper name (or vice versa; e.g. His Holiness for the name of a pope), 1580s, from Latin, from Greek antonomasia, from antonomazein "to name instead, call by a new name," from anti "instead" (see anti-) + onomazein "to name," from onoma "name" (see name (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for antonomasia

a figure of speech in which some defining word or phrase is substituted for a person's proper name (for example, "the Bard of Avon" for William Shakespeare). In fiction, the practice of giving to a character a proper name that defines or suggests a leading quality of that character (such as Squire Allworthy, Doctor Sawbones) is also called antonomasia. The word is from the Greek antonomasia, a derivative of antonomazein, "to call by a new name."

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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