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metonym Syllabification: met·o·nym
Pronunciation: /ˈmedəˌnim/

Definition of metonym in English:


A word, name, or expression used as a substitute for something else with which it is closely associated. For example, Washington is a metonym for the federal government of the US.
Example sentences
  • In such cases, verisimilitude takes over motivation, because each word of that story will expatiate on or repeat the nuclear word that begets it, for each such word is also a metonym of that nucleus.
  • I would like to offer a variant definition and suggest that metonyms, like commuters, do not always make their connections.
  • The metonym I am describing is more than a ‘reality effect’ but less than a link in a dangerously mobile semiotic chain; no frightening or anxiety-provoking associations need be made to it.


Mid 19th century: back-formation from metonymy.

Definition of metonym in:
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