What is the term used for a place name that represents something other than the place itself?

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?


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.

Source : Link , Question Author : superato , Answer Author : Lawrence

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