Synecdoche (sih-NECK-duh-kee): Figure of comparison in which a word standing for part of something is used for the whole of that thing or vice versa; any part or portion or quality of a thing used to stand for the whole of the thing or vice versa -- genus to species or species to genus.

Further Examples 

("This is NBC Nightly News with John Chancellor and David Brinkley.")

"Good evening. Elvis Presley died today. He was 42. Apparently, it was a heart attack. He was found in his home in Memphis not breathing. His road manager tried to revive him -- he failed. A hospital tried to revive him -- it failed. His doctor pronounced him dead at three o'clock this afternoon.

-- NBC Nightly News with John Chancellor and David Brinkley

Note: In this case, the whole (hospital) stands in for one of its parts (the attending physician and health care workers).

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"Give us this day our daily bread."

-- Matthew 6:11

Note: In this case, the part (bread) stands in for the whole (food and perhaps other necessities of life)

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"And I began a little quiet campaign of persuasion with certain editors, seeking to show the unlimited possibilities for education and amusement. One would have thought that we would find willing ears on the part of the newspapers."

-- Lee De Forest

Note: Two instances of synecdoche. The first uses a part (willing ears) to stand for the whole (persons in charge of making the decisions). The second uses a part (newspapers) to stand for the whole (newspaper companies).

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  Josh Lyman: "We're not going to win the nomination. You should remember who your friends are -- not some names on an index card, but the people you're going back to. And then you should take a bow, and you should step off the stage. 

  Matt Santos: "Hm. You know, when I got out of the Marines, I hadn't been around my old neighborhood in Houston in a few years. I had just gotten this job offer from the Pentagon, and it required a full FBI background check. After a few weeks, the investigators -- they came up to me and they said, "We can't give you the job. We've interviewed all your old friends and neighbors, and they can't confirm anything -- not even your name. So I hop a plane, go back to the old block. I see my neighbor's, 11 and 13- year-old kids. They're sitting on the stoops, same as always, and they see me coming. They start running towards me, and they're shouting, 'To Matt. To Ma -- Uncle Matt -- 'To Matt, the Feds, they were here looking for you. We told them we never heard of you.'"

"I am running for President in that Texas primary. And those kids are going to see me do that. And that's the only statement about my skin color I intend to make in this campaign."      

-- delivered by Jimmy Smits and Bradley Whitford (from the TV series The West Wing, Season 5, Ep. 18

Note: One Individual's skin color representing an entire race or class of persons.

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Rhetorical Figures in Sound

Online Speech Bank

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American Rhetoric.
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