Like visibility combines show/hidden, what's the word that combines inclusion/exclusion?

EDIT: The problem is inspired by the VIM reference manual:

A character motion is either inclusive or exclusive. When inclusive, the start and end position of the motion are included in the operation. When exclusive, the last character towards the end of the buffer is not included. Linewise motions always include the start and end position.

I want to know what's the right word to use for describing the inclusive/exclusive property of a character motion, which I thought is like visibility to show/hidden.

As RegDwight said, I am looking for the hypernym for inclusion/exclusion for this content/condition. Sorry for my poor and misleading English.

  • I would use "inclusivity", 'though many might say this is stretching its proper meaning.
    – user597
    Commented Oct 6, 2010 at 14:07
  • It appears that two other people (@mickyf & @FumbleFingers) and yours truely (see below) have all landed on the usage of inclusivity as your hypernym for this state. Also @j_random_hacker has mentioned this word in their answer although not as as a suggestion. I detect a trend. :)
    – O.M.Y.
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 18:51
  • 1
    as a VIM user, I endorse @O.M.Y.'s recommended neologism clusivity. The VIM character operation distinction is similar concept to that of an open/closed interval in mathematics. I see the term clusivity used only very sparsely on the internet relating to real number intervals, but the term does have cachet in linguistics for referring to pronoun systems that distinguish between inclusive and exclusive first-person pronouns.
    – user31341
    Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 3:00
  • I second that the purpose is the determining factor such as visibility, rsvp, covered, or contain.
    – Martin
    Commented Dec 25, 2022 at 6:29
  • Couple more: within or "is".
    – Martin
    Commented Dec 25, 2022 at 6:46

6 Answers 6


If I understand you correctly, you are looking for a hypernym of inclusion and exclusion. Without further context, it is quite hard — if not impossible — to provide a definite answer. There are lots of potential candidates (say, composition, content, form, comprehension, constitution, policy, condition...). Going by etymology alone, in-/ex- + claudere (shut in/out), closure would be yet another candidate.

Edit: now that you have provided some context, you have actually answered your own question. Look at the very first sentence of the quote:

A character motion is either inclusive or exclusive.

So, in this case, the hypernym of inclusive/exclusive is motion. The visibility can be either "show" or "hide"; the motion can be either "inclusive" or "exclusive".


Congratulations Jichao, you have prompted the creation of a new word! I think the word that would be most equivalent to "visibility" in this context might be "clusivity" which does not actually exist at this time.

Seeing that invisibility and visibility are antonyms, logically the word inclusivity should have an antonym as well and thus clusivity is born.

Consider if you will that inclusivity is a relatively new word (significant usage begins circa 1930) representing the label for a policy created in response to the elitist concept of exclusivity. My suggestion of course would lead to two different antyonyms for one word but that is not unique in English.

Of course since this is computer related you could also just use boolean logic and choose to use inclusivity for your hypernym, as in inclusivity (state) = true / false. This would not be a new word but could possibly be new usage of the word.


A very interesting question. I approached this from an etymological perspective and found the following (PIE = Proto-Indo-European):

  • include: from the Latin includere: "to shut in"
    from in-: "in" (from PIE root en: "in") + claudere: "to shut / close"
    related to enclose (from Old French enclore: "surround / contain / confine")

  • exclude: from the Latin excludere: "to shut out"
    from ex-: "out" (from PIE root eghs: "out") + claudere: "to shut / close"

These in turn led me to explore similar words:

  • seclude: from the Latin secludere: "to shut off"
    from se-: "off / apart" + claudere: "to shut / close"

  • occlude: from the Latin occludere: "to shut against"
    from ob-: "against / in the way of" + claudere: "to shut / close"
    The Latin "ob-" is from PIE root epi, opi: "near / at / against"

  • preclude: from the Latin praecludere: "to shut before"
    from pre-, prae-: "before / ahead" + claudere: "to shut / close"

and finally:

  • recluse: from the Latin recludere: "to shut out"
    from Latin re-, intensive prefix + claudere: "to shut / close"

After examining these the logical hypernyms for the inclusion/exclusion state could be "shutting", "closing", or (my preference) simply "closure". Unfortunately these terms are not intuitive and would require far too extensive an explanation for most people to grasp.

  • To clude is to shut or to close. It exists, but it's archaic. O.M.Y. said it correctly. To preclude means to shut or close something off in advance. To conclude means to close something up at the end of sth. So, your conclusion is what closes your argument. To seclude means to be shut off from its surroundings.
    – Taricus
    Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 2:26
  • "clusivity" is a linguistic term. smbc-comics.com/comic/clusivity
    – Barmar
    Commented Jun 11, 2023 at 19:09
  • 1
    'Clusivity' (the distinction between 'inclusive we' and 'exclusive we') is listed by Wikipedia, YourDictionary, ThoughtCo (Nordquist).... Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 22:50

Inclusion is the act of including and exclusion is the act of excluding. Therefore these two words are not an indicative of state like visibility (shown or hidden).

This means that the states are actually "included" and "not included". You could then use the word "Included" itself or maybe the sentence "Is included?" to indicate what you need.

  • Inclusion and exclusion can represent either an act or a state, and in mathematics it also describes a relationship. Furthermore the word inclusion also has a noun form in science where an inclusion is a body or structure that exists inside another body/structure (although this is a common usage from the more proper inclusion body noun phrase).
    – O.M.Y.
    Commented May 21, 2017 at 17:22

As Reg Dwight says, OP seeks a hypernym - a word with a broad meaning that more specific words fall under; a superordinate.

But OP himself cites visibility as the hypernym for shown/hidden, where obviously this simplistic classification merely derives directly from the fact that, in this context, visible=shown.

I'm not convinced it's strictly correct to call visibility a hypernym at all - it's simply the appropriate noun form for one of the sub-classifications. Effectively, a "rule-derived pseudo-hypernym".

By the same token, inclusivity meets OP's requirement. I note that mickeyf proposed this long ago - but he didn't justify it (even though it's still the right answer).


Your question is not quite symmetrical, which might not be helping.

shown/hidden == included/excluded


show/hide == include/exclude

In any case, I think that a possible answer would be inclusion (included/excluded).

  • 1
    @Bruno's suggestion is probably better, in that (depending on your application) not included is not necessarily the same thing as excluded.
    – Benjol
    Commented Oct 4, 2010 at 9:35

In light of your update, I would suggest either just motion (as RegDwight suggested), or if that doesn't have the precision you need (insofar as it can refer to the entire action as well as the property of inclusivity/exlusivity of the action), you could use motion type or motion mode.

When there is no ready-made hypernym available, you gotta build it yourself! :)

For that reason I would also suggest explicitly defining the phrase before using it. E.g. if you are updating the VIM manual and want to refer to motion type later, then I would add the following sentence before the final sentence in your snippet:

This property of a character motion is called its motion type.

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