Figures of Speech – Metonymy

Figures of Speech – Metonymy


What is metonymy?

Metonymy is a figure of speech in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept.

Examples:

Here are some examples of metonymy:

  • Crown. (For the power of a king.)
  • The White House. (Referring to the American administration.)
  • Dish. (To refer an entire plate of food.)
  • The Pentagon. (For the Department of Defense and the offices of the U.S. Armed Forces.)
  • Pen. (For the written word.)
  • Sword – (For military force.)
  • Hollywood. (For US Cinema.)
  • Hand. (For help.)

Consider this quote which is a metonymic adage coined by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 for his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy:

“The pen is mightier than the sword.”

36 Figures of Speech Types Simile Metaphor Etc With Examples
36 Figures of Speech Types Simile Metaphor Etc With Examples

List of Figures of Speech in the English Language – Literary Devices

Accumulation Climax Metalepsis
Adjunction Dysphemism Metaphor
Adnomination Ellipsis Metonymy
Alliteration Euphemism Simile
Allusion Epigram Synecdoche
Anaphora Epiphora (or epistrophe) Tautology
Antanaclasis Hyperbole Understatement
Anticlimax Hypophora Zeugma and syllepsis
Antiphrasis Irony
Antithesis Litotes
Apostrophe Oxymoron
Assonance Personification
Cataphora Puns
Chiasmus Merism

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