Definition of Metonymy Literary Term
How do you define Metonymy? What is the definition of Metonymy?
The definition of Metonymy is as follows:

Definition of Metonymy Literary Term

Metonymy is a figure of speech in which one word is substituted for another with which it is closely associated. Some significant aspect or detail of an experience is used to represent the whole experience. A metonymy is a play on words based on association such as the poem 'Out, Out' by Robert Frost where the injured boy holds up his hand "as if to keep the life from spilling." The literal meaning of this line is to keep the blood from spilling but it also tells us that the life of the boy is in mortal danger.


Example of Metonymy
There are many examples of different types of poetry. An example of Metonymy Literary Term can be found in the poetic work of Robert Frost.

Example of Metonymy Literary Term

Out, Out
Robert Frost

As he swung toward them holding up the hand
Half in appeal, but half as if to keep
The life from spilling.

Click the following link for the full version of Out, Out by Robert Frost


Forms of Poetry and Literary Terms
How do you define a couplet or a Falling Meter? And what exactly is an Iambic pentameter? We have provided a definition of poetry and literary terms together with the meaning and examples, such as the above definition of Metonymy. A helpful educational resource for those taking an English test or a University student studying English and American Literature. Each definition, such as the above definition and example of Metonymy will provide a glossary of literary terms or a dictionary with the meaning, samples, examples and the rules of specialising in each different type of poem and poetry.

Definition of Poetry
Poetry is piece of literature written by a poet in meter or verse expressing various emotions which are expressed by the use of variety of techniques including metaphors, similes and onomatopoeia. The emphasis on the aesthetics of language and the use of techniques such as repetition, meter and rhyme are what are commonly used to distinguish poetry from prose. Poems often make heavy use of imagery and word association to quickly convey emotions. An example of Metonymy is detailed above.

Structure of Poetry
The structure used in poems varies with different types of poetry and can be seen in the above example of Metonymy. The structural elements include the line, couplet, strophe and stanza. Poets combine the use of language and a specific structure to create imaginative and expressive work. The structure used in some Poetry types are also used when considering the visual effect of a finished poem. The structure of many types of poetry  result in groups of lines on the page which enhance the poem's composition.


  • Definition of Metonymy Literary Term
  • Literary term
  • Free Educational resource and example of this literary term of Literary Terms
  • Structure, form and Literary Term
  • Example of poem and poetry illustrating Metonymy a Literary Term
  • Examples of Poetry Types and Poetry terms
  • Word Association to convey emotion. Example of Poetry Type and literary term
  • Metonymy Literary Term



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