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If you have a bunch of groups of different things, and you group the groups into a bigger group, what do you call the bigger group?

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You can use the word supergroup to refer to a group of subgroups. The super- prefix is the opposite of the sub- prefix.

Wiktionary defines supergroup as:

Any group composed of other groups (in any of several contexts)

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  • I am voting against this answer because the word does not seem to have widespread adoption among the print dictionaries, and the few that have it seem to only refer to the rock-group sense. More importantly, I suspect the signification of the prefix is too equivocal and more likely to be interpreted as a group with greater abilities than a group of its sort may have, like a superman, which is how the word is used in Unix circles. If we must resort to adding a prefix, I think multi-group is better. – Tonepoet Aug 14 '16 at 4:53
  • Also the word "supergroup" more usually refers to a rock band whose members were all famous before joining the band. – Max Williams Aug 15 '16 at 8:58
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You could also use the term "metagroup" - it would mean groups about groups in the same way that "metadata" means data about data.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta#About_.28its_own_category.29

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  • If I were to drop Ernest Rutherford from the top of Ely Cathedral's west tower (66 metres), how fast would he be travelling when he hit the ground? (Metaphysics.) – tobyink Sep 12 '14 at 13:16
  • @tobyink technically that's Physics about a Physicist so doesn't quite work :p. – Tim B Sep 12 '14 at 13:28
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I'd say collection, if you want to avoid ~group terminology.

Other words could be bundle, cluster, pack, package or any of their synonyms. http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/bundle

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Cluster

A group of similar things or people positioned or occurring closely together. Clusters of creamy-white flowers.


The Oxford Dictionary of English, edited by Angus Stevenson and published in 2010


With this definition you could borrow "supercluster" from astronomy:

Supercluster

A giant cluster of galaxies, a cluster consisting of a number of smaller clusters.


Collins English Dictionary — Complete and Unabridged, 14th edition


Either that or "supergroup" which literally means a group of groups works. "Superset" also works, but is more of a mathematical term.

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Coalition, maybe? That may apply more to the political arena, but I have heard it used in relation to activist groups, too.

co·a·li·tion ˌkōəˈliSH(ə)n/ noun an alliance for combined action, especially a temporary alliance of political parties forming a government or of states.

"a coalition of conservatives and disaffected Democrats"

synonyms: alliance, union, partnership, bloc, caucus; federation, league, association, confederation, consortium, syndicate, combine; amalgamation, merger "the ruling four-party coalition"

Source: Oxford Dinctionaries Online.

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    Hi @SGoins . I think it is great that you thought to corroborate your answer, but when you want to add relevant data to your answer, after posting it, it would be better to click the edit link near the bottom of the answer and paste it in. Also, when we use other people's work, we also need to give due accreditation to them by naming the source, and giving a link where possible. I have submitted an edit for you to show you how it should be done in the future (O.D.O. is understood to mean Oxford Dictionaries Online here, if you're wondering). – Tonepoet Aug 13 '16 at 20:58
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Conglomerate

Although it is used more in corporate settings, I've also seen it being in Biology, Astronomy (comet composition), etc.

From Merriam-Webster:

a large business that is made of different kinds of companies

a composite mass or mixture; especially : rock composed of rounded fragments varying from small pebbles to large boulders in a cement

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