A metonym is a figure of speech in which an object or idea represents a larger concept that's related to it. Do you know someone who refers to her car as her "ride"? She's using a metonym.

Once you start looking for metonyms, you'll realize how common they are. Ever heard the phrase "the pen is mightier than the sword"? Here, "the pen" is a metonym for writing in general, and "the sword" stands for war or violence. Have you ever read a book that referred to a monarch as "the crown"? Or heard a newscaster talk about the White House making a comment? These are also metonyms. The Greek root, metonymia, means "a change of name."

Definitions of metonym

n a word that denotes one thing but refers to a related thing

“Washington is a metonym for the United States government”
“plastic is a metonym for credit card”
Type of:
a unit of language that native speakers can identify

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