Stylistic devices: Synecdoche
What is a synecdoche?
Synecdoche is a figure of speech in which a part of something is used to represent the whole or the whole of something is used to represent part of it. It is considered to be a special kind of metonymy.
Types and examples of synecdoche
- Part of something is used to refer to the whole thing -
A hundred head of cattle (using the part head to refer to the whole animal)
- The whole of a thing is used to represent part of it -
The world treated him badly (using the world to refer to part of the world)
- A specific class of thing is used to refer to a larger, more general class -
A bug (used to refer to any kind of insect or arachnid, even if it is not a true bug)
- A general class of thing is used to refer to a smaller, more specific class -
The good book (referring to the Bible or the Qur'an)
- A material is used to refer to an object composed of that material -
Glasses or steel ( referring to spectacles or sword)
- A container is used to refer to its contents -
A barrel (referring to a barrel of oil)