I remember hearing two words, each describing a relationship to scope, or a containing set. I think they are prefixed with micro- and macro-, but am not certain (I'll call them 1 and 2).

  • 1 describes a type of thing which, by definition, is contained within the definition of 2.
  • 2 describes a type of thing which, by definition, contains 1.

For example, a square is a 1 of a rectangle. A rectangle is a 2 of a square. An iPhone is a 1 of a computer, and a laptop is also a 1 of a computer.

I hope that makes enough sense. This is difficult to describe because it is so conceptual in nature.

  • do you mean superclass and subclass? A subclass derives from a superclass. An iPhone is a subclass of computer. – Jim May 6 '15 at 23:53
  • 2
    or subset/superset. – FumbleFingers May 6 '15 at 23:53
  • @FumbleFingers- yeah good. – Jim May 6 '15 at 23:54
  • @Jim: Someone says The words subclass and superclass were inspired from subset and superset in mathematics, but I think that's more if you take the "programmer's perspective". I've no idea if there might be a less domain-specific pair of terms (we do use mother/daughter figuratively sometimes, but it's not very "generic"). – FumbleFingers May 7 '15 at 0:00
  • Yeah, that's along the right idea, but those aren't the ones I heard and the ones I'm trying to find! @FumbleFingers – jsejcksn May 7 '15 at 0:03

Are you asking for microcosm and macrocosm? Both describe sets.

  • 1
    A square is a microcosm of a rectangle? A computer is a macrocosm of an iPhone? I agree that OP could be thinking of these terms, but if he is he's misapprehended their meanings. – Dan Bron May 7 '15 at 5:17
  • No, not these. But thanks for the effort! – jsejcksn May 7 '15 at 5:51

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