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A figurative, usually compound expression used in place of a name or noun, especially in Old English and Old Norse poetry; for example, storm of swords is a kenning for battle.
(Literary & Literary Critical Terms) a conventional metaphoric name for something, esp in Old Norse and Old English poetry, such as Old English bānhūs (bone house) for "body"
[C14: from Old Norse, from kenna; see ken]
a conventional poetic phrase used for or in addition to the usual name of a person or thing, esp. in Old Norse and Old English verse, as wave traveler for boat.
[1880–85; < Old Norse]
The use of a conventional metaphoric name for something or someone, especially in Old Norse poetry.