Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A word whose meaning includes the meaning of a more specific word; for example, animal is a hypernym of elephant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun a word that is more generic or more abstract than a given word; a word designating a class of which the given word is a member. Inverse of subtype and hyponym.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun semantics A word or phrase whose referents form a set including as a subset the referents of a subordinate term.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a word that is more generic than a given word

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[hyper– + (–o)nym (on the model of hyponym, taken as hypo– + -nym).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Ancient Greek hyper- (“over”) + -onym (“name”). From Greek roots; compare Latinate “superordinate term”.

Examples

Comments

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  • An unfortunate choice of word, especially coming from linguists. To be well-formed Greek it should be 'hyperonym': this contains all the root ονυμ- "name", and clearly isn't a homophone of its antonym 'hyponym'.

    July 8, 2008