In the field of linguistics, a hypernym is a word that is in a type-of relationship with a set of other words, a semantic field, whose members, hyponyms, are all subtypes of the hypernym. The relationship, called hypernymy, connects a relatively generic term (the hypernym) to more specific instances of itself (the hyponyms).
In other words:
Y is a hypernym of X if every X is a type of Y.
Consider the set of words car, truck, train, plane, and boat. In a hypernymy relationship these would all be hyponyms for the more generic hypernym transportaion.« Back to Glossary Index