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A figure of speech in which the name of a part is used to stand for the whole (as hand for sailor), the whole for a part (as the law for police officer), the specific for the general (as cutthroat for assassin), the general for the specific (as thief for pickpocket), or the material for the thing made from it (as steel for sword).

[Middle English synodoches, from Medieval Latin synodoche, alteration of Latin synecdochē, from Greek sunekdokhē, from sunekdekhesthai, to take on a share of : sun-, syn- + ekdekhesthai, to understand (ek-, out of; see eghs in Indo-European roots + dekhesthai, to take; see dek- in Indo-European roots).]

syn′ec·doch′ic (sĭn′ĕk-dŏk′ĭk), syn′ec·doch′i·cal (-ĭ-kəl) adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.synecdochical - using the name of a part for that of the whole or the whole for the part; or the special for the general or the general for the special; or the material for the thing made of it; "to use `hand' for `worker' or `ten sail' for `ten ships' or `steel' for `sword' is to use a synecdochic figure of speech"
figurative, nonliteral - (used of the meanings of words or text) not literal; using figures of speech; "figurative language"
References in periodicals archive ?
Likewise, a synecdochical logical process makes understanding large complex issues like environmental conservation more easily digestible for the average person by reducing the issues down to simpler, smaller scale concerns that, in the long run, have much larger impacts.
The figure most associated with heteronormative values within the novel is Yvonne, Maria's university friend, and thus synecdochical with contemporary society.
For Laura Marcus, although the anecdote implies "too neat a 'fit' between the shoes and their owner," still "the synecdochical nature of the shoes--they 'stand in' for the absent Jacob--is again appropriate in a novel in which 'character' has been represented in flashes and fragments" (93).
5) In this synecdochical view of borders, the machismo which is ever-present in Chilean society becomes even more highly valued at the instable border whereby only dominance and aggression can protect the feminine interior.
12) The end of Indian Territory also results in the end of all-Indian baseball teams such as the Miko Kings; the novel represents this loss as synecdochical of the loss of land and cultural traditions born in the new home the Choctaws have made for themselves since Jacksonian Removal.
Senator Kerry's underscoring President Obama's undeviating commitment to defending Israel, a militantly apartheid state, and his astonishing appeal to its racist and extreme right wing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to setting "the record straight" over Mitt Romney's charge that President Obama was abandoning its perennial commitment to the security of Israel, bear synecdochical witness to this shameful disavowal.
Rather than follow a narrative or documentary trajectory, the work leaps from one synecdochical fragment to the next--a burning house, bloody footprints in the snow, a rusty jack-knife planted in a scarred wall, and a spent shotgun shell are just a few of the images in the book.
The ending describes the narrative as "pis meruaile" (598), echoing the opening observation that lays are defined by marvels (17-20) and suggesting a synecdochical relationship between the central marvel of the gallery and the poem itself.
His true identity can only be fully expressed in this synecdochical perspective as a man among men in society, not an individual who exists alone apart from others in the community.
These shameful controversies serve as troubling reminders that, despite the theoretical comprehensiveness granted to prisoners of war in modern international accords such as the Geneva Conventions, in practice the body of the captive continues to be a synecdochical repository of imperial forces.
Bob Hope serves as a synecdochical touchstone in what turns out to be a symphonic (McGrath's term, but an apt one) meditation on all things American, from money to meat to the inhabitants of People magazine.
4) When such metaphors become commonplace, a synecdochical substitution occurs, conflating the person with the sociocultural meanings surrounding the illness.