Rhet. Also 4-5 syn-, sinodoches, 5 synadochie, 6 sinecdochine, senec(h)doche, 6-7 synechdoche, 7 sinecdoche, synegdoche, synechdochie. Also anglicized 6 sinecdoch. a. late L. synecdoche (in med.L. sinodoche, whence obs. Fr. synodoche), a. Gr. sunekdoxh', f. sunekde'xesqai lit. to take with something else, f. su'n syn-1 + ekde'xesqai to take, take up. Cf. Fr. synecdoche, -doque, Ital. sineddoche, Sp. siné(c)doque, Pg. synecdoche. The form sinecdochine represents the acc. synecdochen, sunekdoxh'n, and synodoches is a new nom. formed upon it; cf. syncopis, -in, s.v. syncope.
A figure by which a more comprehensive term is used for a less comprehensive or vice versâ; as whole for part or part for whole, genus for species or species for genus, etc.Formerly sometimes used loosely or vaguely, and not infrequently misexplained.
- 1388 Wyclif's Bible, Prol. xii. (1850) 47 Bi a figure clepid synodoches [v.r. synadochie], whanne a part is set for al, either al is set for oo part.
- 1432-50 tr. Higden (Rolls) IV. 263 Criste was seide to be in the..herte of therthe thre daies and iij. ny3htes by a figure callede sinodoches, after Seynte Austyn, sythe Criste reste not in his sepulcre but by xlti howres.
- 1483 Caxton Gold. Leg., Resurr. (1892) 52 Jhesus was in the sepulcre iii dayes & iii nyghtes. But after saynt austyn the first day is taken by synecdoche, that is, that the last part of the day is taken [etc.];
- 1548 R. Hutten Sum of Diuinitie E ij b, They imagyne a Sinecdoch to be in thys worde.
- 1548 R. Hutten Sum of Diuinitie F viij b, The subtyll cauillacyons, whereby they fayne Sinecdochine.
- 1551 T. Wilson Logike (1580) 75 Therefore, whereas I saie, the Churche doeth not erre, it is called Synechdoche, that is to saie, when the parte is vsed for the whole [sic].
- 1602 Marston Ant. & Mel; v. Wks. 1856 I. 55, I did send for you to drawe me a devise, an Imprezza, by Sinecdoche a Mott.
- 1612 J. Mason Anat. Sorc. 56 By these two blessings (to wit) the sunne & raine meaning al other earthly benefits whatsoever, by the figure synechdoche;
- 1638 Chillingw. Relig. Prot. i. v. Sect.94. 295 By a Synecdoche of the whole for the part, he might be said to forsake the Visible Church.
- 1657 J. Smith Myst. Rhet. 44 Of the Grammarians it is called a Synecdoche, or Comprehension, when a common word or name is restrained to a part which is expressed by the Accusative Case..: as, Æthiops albus dentes, an Ethiopian white in the teeth; here, white agreeing to the teeth only, is attributed to the whole Ethiopian.
- 1660 Jer. Taylor Worthy Commun. i. iii. 58 It is by a Metonymy and a Sacramental Manner of speaking, yet it is also a synecdoche of the part for the whole.
- 1718-31 J. Trapp tr. Virg., Eclogues i. 87 note (ed. 2) I. 11 Aristas, by a Metonymy of the Adjunct, for Harvests; and Those by a Synecdoche, for Years.
- 1872 Minto Engl. Prose Lit. Introd. 15 Metaphors, personifications, synecdoches and metonymy in almost every sentence.
- 1900 R. J. Drummond Apost. Teach. viii, This ordinance was frequently by synecdoche spoken of as the Breaking of Bread.