I am looking for a word that represents a group of words. In this case the group of words are meal types, like:

  • dessert
  • dinner
  • feast
  • picnic
  • refreshment
  • snack
  • etc..

Is there a single word that is an alternative for "meal types"?
Or if no such word exists a more elegant phrasing?

  • 1
    No, not really. When you think about it, there are kazillions of things that can be grouped, but there aren't kazillions of English words. Only the words that everybody uses most of the time get learned by everybody, so if there were such a word, it would be rare or archaic, and if you used it, very few people would understand you. – John Lawler May 17 at 20:39
  • 1
    The word would be an umbrella term: word that groups other words into a single common category. macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/umbrella-term – user121863 May 17 at 20:41
  • Alright, thanks for both the explanation and the suggestion! So in the case of the umbrella example (heart disease). Is there such word for my case? – FutureCake May 17 at 20:43
  • Food and beverage ? – user121863 May 17 at 20:45
  • 1
    How about just Meals. You don't need Types. Compare Heart Diseases — it's not Heart Disease Types. – Tinfoil Hat May 17 at 21:53

How about just Meals?

You don't need Types.

Compare the example at umbrella term: Heart Diseases — it's not Heart Disease Types

Menus might work as well—sort of a double play: A menu of menus (drinks menu, dinner menu, picnic menu . . .)

| improve this answer | |
  • They'll do, in the right contexts. None of these are exactly the same; meals can be (and usually are) individual events, with participants, and/or the foods at the meal. Menus are texts containing the names of the foods (not the foods themselves), and can metaphorically stand for the foods, though not the events, and you still have different types of menus (table d'hote and happy hour, for instance). – John Lawler May 18 at 2:18
  • Yes, @JohnLawler, now that I think about this, these all might be tags, not categories. Sandwich might appear in Lunch and Picnic. Drinks might appear, well, everywhere. The heading would be Tagged or some such. – Tinfoil Hat May 18 at 2:35

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