We have terms like hyponym and hypernym, which convey the relationships "subcategories" and "supercategory". Metaphorically, one could think of such relationships as similar to parent/children relationships. But what about words for "siblings," in other words, words that all share a hypernym?

Consider, for example, colours. Red,blue and green are all colours. They are all hyponyms of "colour." So what term applies to such "co-hyponyms"?

Also consider vehicles. "Bike," "car," "truck," "bus," "train," and "boat" are all hyponyms of "vehicle." Of course, the situation is more complex than I've made it look so far. For example, "land vehicle" and "water vehicle" are hyponyms of "vehicle" but each have hyponyms, e.g. "car," and "train" on one hand, and "boat" and "submarine" on the other. But does this complexity obviate my question? What term do we apply to "land-vehicle" and "water-vehicle" owing to their shared hypernym, "vehicle"?

I've looked online - wiki etc. tons of terms and Greek prefixes - but I haven't seen one for sibling or "same type". The closest are "syno-" and another prefix meaning "brother." Are there any ones more suitable?

  • Thank you for 'most' of the edits James Grossman. Some of them seem a little assumed, such as looking for a -nym word. Personally, I do not care if it ends wearing a skirt, so long as it conveys the relationship of siblingry. Further some of the terms used (such as broader/tighter) are those taken from books/papers, thus why they were used (along with phrasing that is 'less informed', so that it may be four d by others looking for similar - rather than only a select few who know the mass terminology (ah, the price of knowing;)) Oct 19, 2014 at 20:43

1 Answer 1


The usual term is a co-hyponym. Here's a screenshot of Cann 2011: 459

enter image description here

  • Thank you very much Alex B. That's a far cry better than anything i stumbled over. Oct 20, 2014 at 5:57
  • Hmmm, 'co' is Latin, where as the rest seem to be labled as Greek? To keep in with the rest of the terminology, would it not be along the lines of syn-hyp-onym, (or even syn-syn-onym, as ugly as that is)? What about going the other way - 'endo' or 'ento', and attaching to 'hyper', so we have endo-hyper-nym (have I got that right, 'within the same higher-group'? So it would be 'chair is endohypernymic of table and cabinet'?) (I find English hard enough ;)) Oct 20, 2014 at 9:46
  • 2
    Don't forget to accept this (correct) answer.
    – user3503
    Oct 25, 2014 at 11:24
  • In addition to 'co-hyponyms', these are called 'sisters' (although 'siblings' would work too).
    – amI
    Sep 27, 2018 at 6:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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