Synecdoche :

Synecdoche means the understanding of one thing by means of another. This figure of speech usually consists in changing one noun for another of kindred meaning.

a) A part or species substituted for a whole or genus :

1. He manages to earn his bread = the necessaries of life.

2. All hands at work, the royal work grows warm. (Dryden)

3. A fleet of fifty sail = fifty ships.

(b) A whole or genus substituted for a part or species :

1. He is a poor creature (that is man).

2. In the same way, vessel is used for ship, a measure is used for a dance or for poetry, the smiling year for the smiling season or spring.

(c) An individual substituted for a class : Here a Proper noun is used for a Common noun.

1. He is the Nestor (the oldest man) of his service.

2. He is the Newton (the greatest astronomer) of this century.

3. Daniel (a very wise judge) come to judgment. (Shakespeare)

(d) The Concrete substituted for the Abstract : Here a Common noun denoting a person is used in an Abstract sense.

1. There is a mixture of the tiger and the ape in the character of a Frenchman. (Voltaire)

(e) The Abstract substituted for the Concrete : Here an Abstract noun is used as a Common noun.

1. All the rank and fashion came out to see the sight.

(f) The material substituted for the thing made : Here a Material noun is used as a Common noun.

1. He was put in irons (= fetters made of iron).

2. A foeman worthy of his steel = his sword.

3. The marble speaks….that is the statue made of marble.

4. Have you any coppers? (= Pence made of copper).

5. Silver and gold (= money) have I none. (New Testament)

Synecdoche :

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