Antonomasia

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Antonomasia (Rhet) The use of some epithet or the name of some office, dignity, or the like, instead of the proper name of the person; as when his majesty is used for a king, or when, instead of Aristotle, we say, the philosopher; or, conversely, the use of a proper name instead of an appellative, as when a wise man is called a Solomon, or an eminent orator a Cicero.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n antonomasia In rhetoric, the substitution of an epithet, or of the appellative of some office, dignity, profession, science, or trade, for the true name of a person, as when his majesty is used for a king, his lordship for a nobleman, or the philosopher for Aristotle; conversely, the use of a proper noun in the place of a common noun: as, a Cato for a man of severe gravity, or a Solomon for a wise man.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Antonomasia ant-on-om-āz′i-a a figure of speech which uses an epithet on the name of an office or attributive for a person's proper name, e.g. his lordship for an earl; and conversely, e.g. a Napoleon for a great conqueror.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., fr. Gr. , fr. to name instead; + to name, name
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr.; anti, instead, and onomazein, to name, onoma, a name.