On this submit, we’ll dive right into a hearty assortment of synecdoche examples.

And alongside the way in which, you’ll study precisely what synecdoche is, why it’s used, and the way it can take your writing from zero to hero.

So, let’s dissect this strange-sounding literary system after which see what it appears like in motion.


What’s Synecdoche?

Synecdoche (pronounced sin-nek-duh-kee) is a literary time period that makes use of part of one thing to signify an entire or an entire to signify a component.

Typically, synecdoche is damaged into two varieties: microcosm and macrocosm:

  • Microcosm makes use of a component or component to signify a bigger complete, and
  • Macrocosm does the other: utilizing an entire or bigger entity to signify a selected half.

Synecdoche vs. Metonymy

The road between synecdoche and metonymy is a bit of fuzzy, and also you’ll see why after we outline metonymy:

Metonymy is a literary time period the place a phrase or phrase is substituted with one other associated phrase or phrase.

For instance:

“We want boots on the bottom as rapidly as attainable”, the place boots (one thing troopers sometimes put on) signify troopers.

Now let’s take a look at an instance that tip-toes the road between synecdoche and metonymy:

“He requested for her hand in marriage.”

At first look, it appears apparent that hand is getting used to signify the entire girl, by which case we’re taking a look at synecdoche. However because the girl’s hand will bear the marriage ring, you possibly can additionally argue that her hand, on this case, serves as a proximate substitute for her consent to marry him, which might make this an instance of metonymy.

Don’t sweat it when you’re nonetheless a bit of fuzzy on the distinction between these two literary phrases; they confuse most individuals at first. However that will help you get extra comfy with synecdoche, we’ll assessment rather a lot extra super-fun examples.

Associated: 20 Metonymy Examples That Will Sweep You Off Your Toes

Let’s discover some synecdoche examples, lets?

Types of Synecdoche with Examples

When a Half Represents a Entire

Microcosmic synecdoche makes use of a selected a part of one thing to suggest the entire object, as you’ll see within the following examples:

  • “All arms on deck!” — makes use of “arms” to suggest the entire sailors.
  • “I would like a headcount by morning,” — makes use of “head” to signify an entire individual.
  • “Good wheels!” — makes use of “wheels” to designate an entire automobile.

When a Materials Represents an Object

One other sort of microcosmic synecdoche references an object utilizing the fabric of which it’s made, which turns into a part of its essence — even when completely different supplies are used to make the identical factor.

  • Paper or plastic?” — Each supplies are used to make disposable grocery baggage, which is what we’re referencing right here.
  • “Are we out of unpolluted silverware?” — makes use of silverware to signify the bigger class of consuming utensils or cutlery, although most of those aren’t truly manufactured from silver.
  • “It’s within the papers” — makes use of “papers” to imply a newspaper, even when a selected article was discovered on-line.

When a Particular Class Represents a Entire

A 3rd class of microcosmic synecdoche entails the usage of a selected class or model title to signify the broader class to which it belongs.

  • “We want extra Kleenex.” — makes use of the well-known model title, Kleenex, to signify the bigger class of facial tissues typically.
  • “I would like a Band-Help”— makes use of the model title, Band-Help, to signify the entire class of adhesive bandages.
  • “I hate once they use Styrofoam!” — utilizing Styrofoam, which is a model title, for polystyrene packing materials.

When a Entire Represents a Half

Synecdoche that makes use of an entire to signify a smaller half is macrosomic.

Let’s take a look at some easy examples:

  • “It’s a merciless world” — makes use of “world” to imply particular folks (in a selected setting) who’re being jerks.  “A merciless world” may additionally reference an unenjoyable expertise.
  • “Let’s go to the motion pictures!” — makes use of “motion pictures” to imply a selected film taking part in at an area theater.
  • Forbes desires to interview me! — makes use of Forbes Journal to signify the person reporter who shall be doing the interview.

When a Container Represents What it Accommodates

In one other instance of macrocosmic synecdoche, the title of a container is used to signify its contents:

  • “Are you able to imagine they’re charging ten {dollars} a glass?” — The “glass” right here isn’t referring to the container itself however to the beverage it holds.
  • “They ate three complete bins” — utilizing “bins” to imply no matter they initially contained.
  • “I assumed she’d return to the bottle, however she proved me unsuitable” — the place “bottle” represents alcoholic drinks.

When a Class Represents Gadgets in that Class

And at last, the sort of macrocosmic synecdoche makes use of a class as a kind of container to imply a selected merchandise that belongs to it.

  • America took house gold” — makes use of America as a bigger class to signify Olympians for the U.S. staff.
  • Denver beat New York in final night time’s recreation” — makes use of the names of particular states to signify their sports activities groups.
  • “All his enemies have been put to the sword” — makes use of “sword” to signify all strategies of execution, which may actually embrace the stabby sorts.

19 Extra Examples of Synecdoche

Now that you realize the completely different types of synecdoche, you’ll know spot them in something you learn, watch, or hearken to. You’ll discover some acquainted examples beneath, a few of that are extra apparent than others.

Examples of Synecdoche in Character Names

It’s common to see synecdoche in character names, and beneath is only a sampling. You possibly can in all probability consider others.

  • Fang — Hagrid’s canine from the Harry Potter sequence
  • Pink — Ellis Boyd Redding from The Shawshank Redemption
  • Scorching Lips — Margaret Houlihan from the TV sequence Mash
  • Blackbeard — well-known seafaring pirate
  • Whiskers — cat from Toy Story

Examples of Synecdoche in Literature

Literature — each poetry and prose — each displays and provides to the usage of rhetorical units in on a regular basis speech, as you’ll see within the following examples:

I heard a Fly buzz—after I died by Emily Dickinson

“I heard a Fly buzz — after I died — The Stillness within the Room

Was just like the Stillness within the Air —

Between the Heaves of Storm —

The Eyes round — had wrung them dry —

And Breaths have been gathering agency

For that final Onset — when the King

Be witnessed — within the Room —”

Right here, ”the eyes” are the folks surrounding the speaker as she lay dying.

The Nice Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“It was the sort of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if every speech is an association of notes that can by no means be performed once more.”

On this, ”ear” represents whole folks enchanted by the voice the creator is describing.

The Rime of the Historic Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“The western wave was all a-flame.

The day was properly nigh executed!

Virtually upon the western wave

Rested the broad shiny Solar.”

Right here, “wave” stands in for the ocean.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

“He shall suppose in a different way,” the musketeer threatened, “When he feels the purpose of my metal.”

“Metal” refers to one of many musketeer’s swords, referencing the fabric it’s constituted of.

 Macbeth by William Shakespeare

“Take thy face therefore!”

On this, King Macbeth is demanding considered one of his servants depart. “Face” is a referring to the servant’s common presence.

To not get all phrase nerd right here, however it is a sensible use of synecdoche as a result of face-to-face communication is essentially executed with, properly, the face. And summing up one’s whole presence as a “face” not solely provides dramatic aptitude, however it feels somewhat insulting too.

Synecdoche Examples in Dialog & On a regular basis Language

Synecdoche in on a regular basis speech is usually (although not at all times) extra handy than poetic.

Let’s take a look at a number of widespread examples:

  • “He’s the brains of the operation” — utilizing brains to signify an entire individual whose intelligence is vital to the operation’s success.
  • “Let’s give the forged a hand for that stirring efficiency” — the place hand represents the act of hand-clapping or applause to indicate appreciation.
  • “You’ve got my complete coronary heart” — utilizing “coronary heart” to signify your complete individual: coronary heart, thoughts, physique, and soul.

Examples of Synecdoche in Pop Tradition

You’ll discover synecdoche in popular culture references woven into the most recent motion pictures, novels, TV sequence, books, and weblog posts.

Listed here are a number of of our favorites:

  • “You need a Coke?” — utilizing a preferred model title (subtype) to imply a can or bottle of cola, representing a bigger beverage class;
  •  “Communicate reality to energy” — the place energy represents the individuals who have the facility to vary issues (ideally for the higher).

Right here’s an instance of microcosmic synecdoche in Taylor Swift’s “Our Tune,” the place “our music” represents memorable and emotional moments shared all through a romantic relationship:

Our music is a slamming display screen door,

Sneaking out late tapping in your window,

After we’re on the telephone and also you discuss actual sluggish,

‘Trigger it’s late and your mama don’t know…”.

Different Well-known Examples of Synecdoche

Some expressions stick with us for hundreds of years, whether or not they come from non secular texts, basic literature, or well-known personalities all through historical past. Listed here are a number of examples:

  • “Mates, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” — (Julius Caesar, Shakespeare) the place “ears” can signify the entire individual or the individual’s full consideration, for which ears and/or different senses are wanted.
  • “Give us this present day our every day bread…” — the place bread signifies all that the supplicant must get by the day.
  • “One other day, one other greenback” — the place greenback (hopefully) represents sufficient {dollars} to justify getting off the bed.

Why Use Synecdoche in Writing

Writers use synecdoche for the next causes:

  • To evoke psychological imagery of their readers — as a result of the extra senses concerned, the longer one thing dwells in your reminiscence.
  • To create connections between concepts, which engages the reminiscence and makes the phrases extra significant.

The extra of your reader’s thoughts you have interaction together with your writing, the longer it can reside in your reader’s reminiscence.

That’s what makes this a poetic system:

As a result of takes one thing acquainted and does one thing surprising with it to get the reader’s consideration.

Which examples caught yours?

How Will These Synecdoche Examples Change Your Writing?

Now that you realize what synecdoche is, and have skilled a whirlwind tour of 37 synecdoche examples, what stood out for you?

When have you ever used synecdoche in your personal writing?

If nothing involves thoughts, no worries. Chances are high, you’ve used it loads of occasions, even when you don’t keep in mind.

That mentioned, we invite you to consciously apply what you’ve realized right here by writing some synecdoche examples of your personal. These could possibly be bits of dialogue, colourful descriptions, or a part of a brand new weblog submit.

What is going to you attempt first?

The submit 37 Synecdoche Examples (+ An Simple-to-Perceive Definition) appeared first on Sensible Blogger.


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