A hypernym is a word that names a broad category that includes other words. "Primate" is a hypernym for "chimpanzee" and "human."

Whenever you see a word ending in nym, you know it’s going to be some kind of name. In this case, a hypernym is the name of a broader category of things. Dog, for example, is a hypernym for dachshund, Chihuahua, and poodle. Superhero is a hypernym for Batman and Spider-Man. A word can’t be a hypernym if there are no other words that can be classified under it. Hypernyms are also called generic terms or superordinates.

Definitions of hypernym
  1. noun
    a word that is more generic than a given word
    synonyms: superordinate, superordinate word
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a unit of language that native speakers can identify
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week