Word of the Day

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

synecdoche

\si-NEK-duh-kee\ , noun;
1.
a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole or whole for a part or general for the special or vice versa
Quotes:
Photographers had to resort to visual synecdoche, hoping that a small part of the scene -- a wailing child, an emaciated mother, a pile of corpses in a freshly dug trench -- would suggest the horrors of the whole.
-- Paul Gray, Looking At Cataclysms, Time, August 1, 1994
We're using the part-for-whole type of synecdoche, for instance, when we describe a smart person as a "brain."
-- We Live by the Brand, Hartford Courant, August 9, 1995
Origin:
By 1388, from Middle Latin synodoche, from Late Latin synecdoche, from Greek synekdokhe, literally "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".
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