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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.synecdochic - 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 ?
13) In A Tale of Two Cities the idiom "shaking in one's shoes" for "being afraid" is literalized when the road mender is said to be shaking "in his wooden shoes" out of fear of Madame Defarge (180), his footgear, ominously contrasting with the elegant shoes made by Doctor Manette in captivity and foreshadowing a combination of dead metaphor and hypallage--when after the outbreak of the Revolutionary terror, the synecdochic Monseigneur "[takes] to his noble heels" (243).
I find Wevill's version much more powerful and startling, with its synecdochic emphasis on one spark rather than a fire started from one spark and the unexpected action of eating rather than destroying.
Synecdochic assumptions are unlikely to produce conclusive results, but I am angling for something different here.
Where these are denied (for example by the Chinese state) the otherwise obscure "true face" of the self is, in self-immolation, vindicated in the public gaze not merely in its own defense but trans-personally, as da Col explains of the synecdochic substitution (glud), whereby "a single self-immolator could protect and benefit the whole Tibetan nation.
If you see one chair alone, it's like an orphan, it's synecdochic, a part that speaks to a larger whole that's absent, from which it has been removed.
synecdochic and metonymic seductions that link images and sequences .
11) Tarabotti establishes her Inferno monacale, or "Convent as Hell" as analogous to Dante's Inferno through synecdochic allusions to and quotations from the Commedia.
On the other hand, photography as an art form also has much to gain from painting, especially Zen-inspired painting, which is characterized by suggestiveness, the synecdochic implying of the macrocosmic by the microcosmic, the indispensability of empty space, the sense of haecceity (i.
10) The term's potential for synecdochic spread was evident to eighteenth-century regime--critics like Swift and Pope, for whom "[a]llegations about forgery functioned .
They were symbolic in representing the almost sacramental vow with which Bishop Myriel charges Valjean, and synecdochic in representing first Valjean himself (to himself as Madeleine), then Myriel (to Valjean at the play's conclusion), standing as both icon and conduit to embody and communicate with absent figures.
This soundless eye-opening synecdochic vignette is both a projection of the normative demands of the social world on the individual and an illustration of the basic modality of the patronizing and appropriating gaze.
Such ideological overtones are all the more pertinent because of the space's synecdochic value: Eeckhout claims that the novel seeks to "understand a century's transformations of the English landscape through the narrative staging of a range of individual life stories" (3).