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For example, the relationship between two things that overlap is called or is described by their "overlap" or "intersection".

What word or words might have the same role in describing the relationship between a thing and a thing it contains?

Failing that, is there a word or words that describe the phenomenon instead of the relationship? I'd also be open to replacing "contains" with "is a superset of", "completely covers", or "starts before and ends after".

marked as duplicate by ermanen single-word-requests Jul 17 '15 at 2:38

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  • 2
    Containment : The act or condition of containing. thefreedictionary.com/containment – user66974 Jul 17 '15 at 0:45
  • Containment is great. Packaging might be work in some situations, too. – Ben W. Jul 17 '15 at 0:52
  • Freight, for example, can be containered, leading to the gerund noun containering. – FumbleFingers Jul 17 '15 at 0:57
  • @Josh61: Please post containment as an answer. It is the obvious (and probably best) answer. – Drew Jul 17 '15 at 1:38
  • @FumbleFingers isn't containering an action, though? I am unfamiliar with the term, but without context, I assume to container means to load into a container. – phoog Jul 17 '15 at 1:52

This is more relevant for programming scenarios, but in some cases you could use aggregation (multiple containees of same type) or composition (containees of different types).

Also, a container implies that it will enclose or envelop its contents.

  • While an automobile is definitely composed of wheels, tires, an engine, and so forth, and therefore comprises those parts, I don't think of that compose/comprise relationship as one of containment but rather as one of, well, composition. Would you say that a motorcycle contains two wheels? I would not. (This points out the importance of the concept of enclosure that you mention in your last sentence.) – phoog Jul 17 '15 at 1:56







  • Please provide links and definitions. A simple list of terms is not a useful answer. – user66974 Jul 17 '15 at 0:53
  • But the tag is single-word requests. I've given a list of single words (!?) – chasly from UK Jul 17 '15 at 8:17
  • Yes, but what do they mean? Could any of them answer the question or are there substantial differences in meaning? Do you think one of them could actually fit more then the others? That's why links and definitions are very important . Plus remember that there are a number of non-native speakers who may not be familiar with the terms. – user66974 Jul 17 '15 at 8:38

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