synecdoche

synecdoche

[si-nek-duh-kee]
noun Rhetoric.
a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole or the whole for a part, the special for the general or the general for the special, as in ten sail for ten ships or a Croesus for a rich man.

Origin:
1350–1400; < Medieval Latin < Greek synekdochḗ, equivalent to syn- syn- + ekdochḗ act of receiving from another, equivalent to ek- ec- + -dochē, noun derivative of déchesthai to receive

synecdochic [sin-ik-dok-ik] , synecdochical, adjective
synecdochically, adverb

Schenectady, synecdoche.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
synecdoche (sɪnˈɛkdəkɪ)
 
n
a figure of speech in which a part is substituted for a whole or a whole for a part, as in 50 head of cattle for 50 cows, or the army for a soldier
 
[C14: via Latin from Greek sunekdokhē, from syn- + ekdokhē interpretation, from dekhesthai to accept]
 
synecdochic
 
adj
 
synec'dochical
 
adj
 
synec'dochically
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

synecdoche
1388, "part for whole or vice versa," from M.L. synodoche, from L.L. synecdoche, from Gk. synekdokhe, lit. "a receiving together or jointly," from synekdekhesthai "supply a thought or word, take with something else," from syn- "with" + ek "out" + dekhesthai "to receive," related to dokein "seem good"
(see decent). Figure in which an attribute or adjunct is substituted for the thing meant ("head" for "cattle," etc.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

synecdoche

figure of speech in which a part represents the whole, as in the expression "hired hands" for workmen or, less commonly, the whole represents a part, as in the use of the word "society" to mean high society. Closely related to metonymy-the replacement of a word by one closely related to the original-synecdoche is an important poetic device for creating vivid imagery. An example is Samuel Taylor Coleridge's line in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," "The western wave was all aflame," in which "wave" substitutes for "sea." See also metonymy.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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