|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|
|[C16: via Latin from Greek, from antonomazein to name differently, from onoma name]|
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."
Learn more about antonomasia with a free trial on Britannica.com.