Creative writing Poetry


Synecdoche is a literary device that uses a part of something to represent the whole or vice versa. In other words, it is a figure of speech in which a part of something is used to refer to the whole thing, or the whole thing is used to refer to a part of it.

For example, “All hands on deck” is a synecdoche because “hands” is being used to refer to the entire crew of a ship. Similarly, “The White House announced today” is another example of a synecdoche where “The White House” is being used to represent the entire executive branch of the US government.

Synecdoche can also be used to represent abstract ideas or concepts. For instance, “Give us this day our daily bread” is a line from the Lord’s Prayer that uses “bread” to represent all the basic necessities of life.

Overall, synecdoche is a powerful literary device that can create depth and nuance in language by using a small part to stand in for the whole or vice versa.

Here are a few examples of synecdoche:

  1. “All hands on deck” – Here, “hands” refers to a ship’s entire crew.
  2. “Wheels” – This is a common synecdoche where “wheels” is used to refer to a car.
  3. “Boots on the ground” – This phrase uses “boots” to refer to soldiers or military personnel who are deployed.
  4. “Gray beards” – Here, “gray beards” is used to refer to old men.
  5. “The pen is mightier than the sword” – This famous phrase uses “pen” to represent writing or communication and “sword” to describe violence or warfare.
  6. “Lend me your ears” – In this example, “ears” is used to represent a person’s attention or willingness to listen.
  7. “The Crown” – This synecdoche often refers to the UK’s monarchy or royal family.



By Benjamin L. Stewart

I´m an EFL teacher educator and foreign language coordinator at the Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes in Mexico.

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