The following quotations are from ThoughtCo.com, and they give good information about hypernyms:
Etymology: from the Greek, "extra" + "name"
Examples and Observations:
"[A] hypernym is a broad, superordinate label that applies to many members of a set, while the members themselves are the hyponyms.
"Hyponymy is a hierarchical relationship, and it may consist of a
number of levels. For example, dog is a hyponym of animal, but it is
also the hypernym of poodle, alsatian, chihuahua, terrier, beagle and
(Jan McAllister and James E. Miller, Introductory Linguistics for Speech and Language Therapy Practice. Wiley-Blackwell, 2013)
"A hypernym is a word with a general meaning that has basically the same meaning of a more specific word. For example, dog is a
hypernym, while collie and chihuahua are more specific subordinate
terms. The hypernym tends to be a basic-level category that is used by
speakers with high frequency; speakers usually refer to collies and
chihuahuas as dogs, rather than using the subordinate terms, which are
consequently of relatively low frequency."
(Laurie Beth Feldman, Morphological Aspects of Language Processing. Lawrence Erlbaum, 1995)
"The foot of footstep narrows down the type of step being expressed to the step made by a foot. A footstep is a kind of step;
or, in more technical terms, footstep is a hyponym, or subtype, of
step, and step is a hypernym, or supertype, of footstep. . . .
Doorstep is also a hyponym of step, and step is a hypernym of
(Keith M. Denning, Brett Kessler, and William Ronald Leben, English
Vocabulary Elements. Oxford University Press, 2007) Hypernyms,
Hyponyms, and Connotations
"Hyponyms are more likely to carry strong connotations than hypernyms, though this is not an invariable rule. The word 'animal'
can carry negative connotations in metaphors such as 'He behaved like
an animal.' However, more specific connotations can be carried by the
use of more specific words. 'He ate like a pig.' 'You rat!' 'She's a
(Maggie Bowring et al., Working with Texts: A Core Introduction to Language Analysis. Routledge, 1997) A Method of Definition
"The most illuminating way of defining a lexeme is to provide a hypernym along with various distinguishing features—an approach to
definition whose history can be traced back to Aristotle. For example,
a majorette is 'a girl' (the hypernym) 'who twirls a baton and
accompanies a marching band.' It is usually possible to trace a
hierarchical path through a dictionary, following the hypernyms as
they become increasingly abstract until we arrive at such general
notions (essence, being, existence) that clear sense-relations between
the lexemes no longer exist."
(David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge University Press, 2003)