There is a special term for when a place name is representative of something other than the actual place itself but I can't remember what it is.

For example: 'Brussels' may be used to refer to the European Union or 'Washington' to refer to the U.S. political establishment.

Does anyone know what this term would be?

marked as duplicate by Jim, Marthaª, Barmar, Edwin Ashworth single-word-requests Dec 29 '17 at 23:29

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


It's a metonym.

metonym noun A word, name, or expression used as a substitute for something else with which it is closely associated. For example, Washington is a metonym for the US government. - ODO


Also consider the word "synecdoche". It's when one thing is used to represent a whole/larger thing (for example, the crown = the monarchy).

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.