Definition of synecdoche in English:

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Pronunciation: /sɪˈnɛkdəki/


A figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa, as in England lost by six wickets (meaning ‘ the English cricket team’).
Example sentences
  • There is a typology of rhetorical figures of speech made up of four tropes, they in turn govern the way we operate language: metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony.
  • It is an inventive device intended to provide new perspectives- and metonymy, synecdoche, and irony all operate by the invention of perspective.
  • Such synecdoches are central to reformist representation, which relies on one ‘wretched woman’ to stand in for all.



Pronunciation: /sɪnɛkˈdɒkɪk/
Example sentences
  • In the English writing of India, the emperor quickly becomes the locus of the civilized/barbaric binary and via this synecdochic function Mogul culture becomes figured as simultaneously civilized and barbaric.
  • The body as possessed by the knowledge of writing becomes a writer's body, part of the writing, a synecdochic body.
  • In Ireland, I would argue, there is a metaphorical and, more specifically, a synecdochic similarity between the fetus' relationship to the mother and Ireland's relationship to Europe.


Pronunciation: /sɪnɛkˈdɒkɪk(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Just as Matthew, Isabelle and Theo in the apartment are a synecdochical image, a microcosm of the revolution outside, so the France of May 1968 is figured in its entirety by Bertolucci as a mere image of the world's true revolutions.
  • Because these perceptions were connected with shifting British attitudes to Russia as a whole, the story moves beyond the biographical to take on a synecdochical meaning.
  • I want to present a way of looking at our country in this time, in which the rights of homosexuals are synecdochical.


Pronunciation: /sɪnɛkˈdɒkɪk(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • He argues that the detective is like the ‘cognitive hero,’ an ‘agent of recognition, reduced synecdochically to the organ of visual perception, the eye,’ seeking to understand the universe.
  • Likewise, at very purposeful points, Barnes is depicted with eyes that are optically printed as angry red points - synecdochically cast as ‘the essence of evil: wrath, obsession, anger, fear, hatred, [and] permanence’.
  • Reality arrives synecdochically, in sharply limned phenomena and events that act as object lessons.


Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek sunekdokhē, from sun- 'together' + ekdekhesthai 'take up'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: syn|ec¦doche

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