Pointing out the abstract principle based on an example is very common usage.

Suppose we have these to work with:

Elephant < Mammal < Organism

Elephant is an example (subset) of Mammal.

Mammal is an example (subset) of Organism.

Usages illustrated based on the above:

i.e. - "id est" - "it is"

Here is a mammal (i.e. warm-blooded, milk-producing)

e.g. - "exempli gratia" - "for example"

Here is a mammal (e.g. elephant)

what I am thinking of

Here is a mammal (_._. organism)

I am looking for something that conveys the last scenario. As you can see,

e.g. refers to subsets / examples of a principle / one level more concrete.

What I am thinking of would be a the opposite of e.g. A superset / generalized principle derived from example(s) / one level more abstract.

  • 1
    What's wrong with using i.e. in the above given examples?
    – BiscuitBoy
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 4:56
  • If I've understood your question, I think the Latin ergo (literally: "therefore") would fit nicely, but it obviously neither has nor needs an abbreviation
    – Au101
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 6:03
  • i.e. is short for "id est" in Latin. "it is" in English. I don't want to reword or talk about the thing itself (mammals), instead, its superset, a more generalized thing. It would in essence be the opposite of e.g.. e.g. points out a subset of a principle. I want to be able to point out something as a superset. In programming terms, e.g. reffers to an instance of a class. i.e. refers to the class itself. What I want would refer to the parent class.
    – ahnbizcad
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 7:31
  • "ergo" is used for logical continuity. This has nothing to do with logical continuity, but allusion to a superset.
    – ahnbizcad
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 7:32
  • 1
    I think you are looking for a latin acronym for the subset symbol. Why not just symbolically represent?
    – BiscuitBoy
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 8:37

1 Answer 1


You could skew towards the simpler end and just use the indefinite article.

Here is a mammal (an organism)

The indefinite article indicates that it is a member of that classification, and is only going to be one or two letters but easily understood. It doesn't explicitly declare it's a subset but it does indicate it to be the case.

  • 1
    It becomes verbally tricky when the example is a long, multi-sentence scenario. but good stuff. like Yeah, but we don't condone rape (_._. morality trumps aesthetics) In this case, we can't use "an". I suppose we'd have to break it up into a separate sentence. I thought it might be a neater grammatical structure that drives home the point better if it were a lexical construct.`
    – ahnbizcad
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 18:20
  • @ahnbizcad i.e. works here. It's not as precise as e.g. (in the opposite direction), but it gets the point across.
    – bcc32
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 18:45
  • @bcc32 If I can say dad i.e. granddad, then one can also say child i.e. dad. The latter is wrong, so the prior is wrong too. i.e. is for the thing itself, not a level above or a level below. e.g. crosses a level while i.e. doesn't. To say that i.e. gets the point across stems from a perspective of "good enough" But then we can zoom out the specificity requirement even more and say "e.g." gets the point across too. but it's wrong.
    – ahnbizcad
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 2:44
  • 1
    @ahnbizcad it works for the particular sentence in your comment. It doesn't work for subsets. Furthermore, dad and grandad, (and child and dad) are not "levels" in the same way organisms and mammals are.
    – bcc32
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 22:09

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