Meronymy and holonymy

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In
linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because it entails a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise analysis of all aspects of language, particularly its nature and structure. Lingui ...
, meronymy () is a semantic relation between a meronym denoting a part and a holonym denoting a whole. In simpler terms, a meronym is in a ''part-of'' relationship with its holonym. For example, ''finger'' is a meronym of ''hand'' which is its holonym. Similarly, ''engine'' is a meronym of ''car'' which is its holonym. Holonymy () is the converse of meronymy. A closely related concept is that of
mereology In logic, philosophy and related fields, mereology ( (root: , ''mere-'', 'part') and the suffix ''-logy'', 'study, discussion, science') is the study of parts and the wholes they form. Whereas set theory is founded on the membership relation bet ...
, which specifically deals with part–whole relations and is used in
logic Logic is the study of correct reasoning. It includes both formal and informal logic. Formal logic is the science of deductively valid inferences or of logical truths. It is a formal science investigating how conclusions follow from premi ...
. It is formally expressed in terms of
first-order logic First-order logic—also known as predicate logic, quantificational logic, and first-order predicate calculus—is a collection of formal systems used in mathematics, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science. First-order logic uses quantifie ...
. A meronymy can also be considered a
partial order In mathematics, especially order theory, a partially ordered set (also poset) formalizes and generalizes the intuitive concept of an ordering, sequencing, or arrangement of the elements of a set. A poset consists of a set together with a binary r ...
. Meronym and holonym refer to ''part'' and ''whole'' respectively, which is not to be confused with
hyponym In linguistics, semantics, general semantics, and ontologies, hyponymy () is a semantic relation between a hyponym denoting a subtype and a hypernym or hyperonym (sometimes called umbrella term or blanket term) denoting a supertype. In other ...
which refers to ''type''. For example, a holonym of ''leaf'' might be ''tree'' (a leaf is a part of a tree), whereas a hyponym of ''oak tree'' might be ''tree'' (an oak tree is a type of tree).

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Has-a In database design, object-oriented programming and design (see object oriented program architecture), has-a (has_a or has a) is a composition relationship where one object (often called the constituted object, or part/constituent/member object) ...
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Hyponymy and hypernymy In linguistics, semantics, general semantics, and ontologies, hyponymy () is a semantic relation between a hyponym denoting a subtype and a hypernym or hyperonym (sometimes called umbrella term or blanket term) denoting a supertype. In other wo ...
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Is-a In knowledge representation, object-oriented programming and design (see object-oriented program architecture), is-a (is_a or is a) is a subsumption relationship between abstractions (e.g. types, classes), wherein one class ''A'' is a subclass ...
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Mereological nihilism In philosophy, mereological nihilism (also called compositional nihilism) is the metaphysical thesis that there are no objects with proper parts. Equivalently, mereological nihilism says that mereological simples, or objects without any proper ...
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Synecdoche Synecdoche ( ) is a type of metonymy: it is a figure of speech in which a term for a part of something is used to refer to the whole (''pars pro toto''), or vice versa (''totum pro parte''). The term comes from Greek . Examples in common En ...

References

Semantic relations {{semantics-stub