What is the hypernym for movie and TV series?
I read that medium might be possible, but it doesn't sound that good.

  • You need to be more specific about what you're asking about. Are movie and series the same thing here? Would examples be Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Pirates of the Caribbean? Or do you by "movies" mean films such as The Polar Express, where "series" refers to a television series, like The Big Bang Theory? Also, you might want to check out our companion site for English Language Learners, where this may have been a better fit.
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 11:04
  • @I edited my question. I hope it's clearer now.
    – Davlog
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 11:16
  • 1
    It is clearer now, and as a result, I think you'll get better answers now, too. Thanks for clarifying.
    – J.R.
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 11:20
  • Movies vs series is an industrial segregation. Movies that form a series are called sequels. A prequel is a member of a sequel. Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 12:28
  • 1
    Film industry? Broadcasting media? The world of entertainment? Show business/showbiz? Light entertainment?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 16:51

3 Answers 3


Extending on Pam's answer, Show is considered the lowest common hypernym for TV program and Movie.

This can be backed up with reference to the WordNet lexical database. See several papers including:

The definition of the show synset in question (show.n.03) is:

'a social event involving a public performance or entertainment'

Which is quiet far from the base words, but according to the lexigraphers that constructed (/and continue to construct) WordNet, as good as we can get.

For interest of others, one can make such queries against wornet in python via NLTK:

from nltk.corpus import wordnet as wn

#Or equivalently (because NLTK integrates Morphy):

Its also possible to query WordNet online, though I don't know of a good way to get lowest common hypernym:

The short of the matter is, if we are willing to trust WordNet as an authoritative source (which thousands of peer reviewed publications have), then we can be confidant that Show is the lowest common hypernym.

  • but in the context of media - let's say someone is trying to name a media drive, it is not ideal since "Show" also refers to concerts. Also it sounds strange to call a movie a show.
    – ycomp
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 5:26

How about a show? Is it too broad?

  • 7
    I have never seen an answer made up with two questions!
    – user51029
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 11:22
  • Hmm... could you call Harry Potter a show?
    – Davlog
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 11:23
  • 2
    Dear Astuto, the reason why I sometimes pose my "answers" in a humble rethorical interrogative fashion is that I am non-native speaker/learner, so I wish to leave space for my proposal to be debated and corrected if necessary
    – Pam
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 13:04
  • 2
    Pam, that is fine, but all answers on this site are subject to debate and correction. No need to specifically mark them up as such. An answer must be presented as an answer, and not as a question in its own right.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 17:23
  • 1
    In American English, show can refer to a television program, a stage production, or a particular showing of a movie (e.g. the matinee show, the 10pm show)— but not for a film itself, except as an affectation, as in using the old-fashioned term picture show. Moreover, I've never heard of anyone mixing media; if asked to list my favorite shows, I cannot simply answer "Top Gear [TV], Into the Woods [stage musical], and The Lion in Winter [film]"; I would need to ask first what is meant by show.
    – choster
    Commented Sep 16, 2013 at 4:08

I would go with media, since it's a plural for medium.

  • 3
    Since there are so many media - movies, TV series, newspapers, magazines, radio, etc. - it would be hard to find a single word that covers just two of them, Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 6:36
  • What about the software installer section of my media library? Media is about the broadest you can get. It could even represent a piece of paper my neighbor slipped under my door. Commented Sep 30, 2017 at 23:07

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