An ELT Glossary : Superordinate

  • Definition : A term for an "umbrella" item of lexis which describes a category subsuming a range of more specific items.
  • Example : fruit is the superordinate of  apple, orange, pear, plum, apricot, avocado etc etc; mammal is the superordinate of horse, cat, bear, hamster, cow, lion etc etc
  • Other related terms : the relationship between the category/items is hyponomy, and the items themselves are all co-hyponyms.  

Further Reading 

Gairns and Redman, Working with Words, Cambridge

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