Learn 1000s of English words with our vocabulary builder.
What Is a Metonym? (with Examples)A metonym is a word used in place of a closely related word. A metonym is a form of figurative language. Metonyms closely resemble metaphors, but the thing being represented by a metonym will be a close match. A metonym is often an attribute or a component part of the thing being represented.
Examples of MetonymsHere are some examples of metonyms (shaded):
- The pen is mightier than the sword. (Pen is a metonym for writing. Sword is a metonym for violence.)
- After college, he took to the bottle. (The bottle is a metonym for alcohol.)
- Downing Street supports the proposal. (Downing Street is a metonym for the Prime Minister.)
- The top brass is contesting the cuts. (Top brass is a metonym for the senior officers.)
- This is not how it will be portrayed by Fleet Street. (Fleet Street is a metonym for the British national press.)
The Benefits of MetonymsUsing a metonym is a good way to keep your writing interesting. It's also a good way of showing your readers that you trust them. Look at this example:
- Westminster will convene a special session to debate the issue. (Westminster is a metonym for The Parliament of the United Kingdom.)
A Quick Test
- This test has questions.
- You will score at least 5 points for a correct answer.
- You will score bonus points for answering the questions quickly.
- Be careful though. Wrong answers score 0 points.
- The maximum score is .
- Do you disagree with something on this page?
- Did you spot a typo?