Knowledge Center


Description of Metonymy. Explanation.


Metonymic Advertisement. In this Metonymy, the city of Geneva is assciated with the typical Swiss watch.Definition Metonymy. Description.

A Metonymy is a rhetoric figure of speech in which a thing, product or concept is not expressed by its name, but indirectly by something associated with it.

The word Metonymy comes from the ancient Greek μετωνυμία / metnyma, it literally means beyond the name.

In cognitive linguistic and communication science a metonymy is also the rhetorical strategy of describing something indirectly by referring to things around it or things that are part of it.

Metonymy Examples

A well known general example is when we talk about newspaper business we use the word press. Or we use The White House when we mean the President of the USA.

In business you can find metonymies such as suits to indicate managers. Other well-known examples are blue collar workers and white collar employees and heads to indicate the (maximum) number of employees.

A metonymy can also be used with images: a scene of a movie representing a group of teenagers standing on the street, can be used to describe all teenagers, what they do and who they are. Metonymy is a strong and effective tool to diffuse a hidden and complex meaning under a simple and accepted concept associated to the original one. It is frequently used in advertising: a product is presented just after something desirable that pertains to the same domain to create an indirect association, that would have been impossible if the two concepts were presented with a direct comparison. As a result people who have a (hidden) need to achieve that will be interested in a purchase.

Metonymy versus Metaphor. Difference

Similarity: both metonymies and metaphors substitute one term for another.

Difference. in metaphors the substitution is based on similarity, while in metonymies the substitution is based on contiguity (association).

Special Interest Group - Metonymy

Special Interest Group (2 members)

Forum - Metonymy  

In the forum section you will find recent discussions within this knowledge area.

  Metonymy Cases and Examples
Hi, do you know of a remarkable case or a classic example in...

Best Practices - Metonymy

In the best practices section you will find the best forum discussions within this knowledge area.

Expert Tips - Metonymy

In the expert tips section you will find advices from experts within this knowledge area.

Resources - Metonymy

In the Resources section you will find powerpoint presentations, micro-learning videos, articles, news items, etc. within this knowledge area.

Metonymy: Examples of Metonymies

Metonymy, Metonymies, Association...

News about Metonymy


Videos about Metonymy


Presentations about Metonymy


Books about Metonymy


More about Metonymy


Compare with: Management Metaphors  |  Framing  |  Cognitive Bias  |  Storytelling  |  Positioning  |  Catalytic Mechanisms  |  Six Thinking Hats  |  Brainstorming  |  Strategy Maps  |  Mind Mapping  |  Garbage Can Model

Special Interest Group Leader

You here? Sign up for free


Return to Management Hub: Communication & Skills  |  Marketing

More on Management  |  Return to Management Dictionary  | 


This ends our Metonymy summary and forum.

About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
2019 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V15.0 - Last updated: 17-6-2019. All names of their owners.