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Today's Words: Gestalt, Foudroyant and Metonymy


(guh-shtahlt) Noun

something with two or more parts that are so integrated that they are perceived as one.

More about Gestalt

First used between 1920–25.

Directly from German Gestalt, “figure, form, structure.”

Examples of Gestalt

The gestalt of the novel’s narrative structure, with its interwoven stories, provides a rich, layered experience for readers.

In therapy, the gestalt approach focuses on understanding the entire context of a person’s experiences rather than isolating specific events.


(foo-droi-uhnt) Adjective

sudden and overwhelming in effect; stunning; dazzling.

More about Foudroyant

First recorded in English between 1830–40.

From French foudroyer, “to strike with lightning,” derivative of foudre, “lightning.”

Examples of Foudroyant

The foudroyant storm lit up the whole sky.

The opera began with a foudroyant overture, setting the stage for the emotional and powerful performance that followed.


(mi-ton-uh-mee) noun

referring to something by one of its attributes or a by a related word.

More  about Metonymy

First recorded between 1540–50.

From Latin metōnymia, from Greek metōnymía, “change of name” (see origin at met-,-onvm,-v3) 

Examples of Metonymy

Hollywood for the film industry.

The Crown for the British monarchy.

Suits for business people.

Pink slip for a layoff notice.

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