use of a term for a part of something to refer to the whole or vice versa

Synecdoche is a figure of speech.[1][2] It uses a part for the whole thing, or the whole for one of its parts. Examples:

These three examples, and most other cases, use the part for the whole. But an expression like "The West" might just mean the U.S.A. It depends on context.

  • "The Government made a statement on the issue yesterday".

The Government did not actually make the statement: a spokesperson did.

Synecdoche is a type of metonymy, because it refers to its target by using a related term. It is similar to metaphor in its use in prose.

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References change

English Wiktionary
The English Wiktionary has a dictionary definition (meanings of a word) for: synecdoche
  1. "Synecdoche" at; retrieved 2012-1-14.
  2. Welsh, Alfred Hux and James Mickleborough Greenwood. (1893). "Metonymy," Studies in English Grammar: A Comprehensive Course for Grammar Schools, High Schools, and Academies, pp. 222-223.