2. A term that denotes a subcategory of a more general class; such as, "chair" and "table" are hyponyms of furniture.
A word that has a more specific meaning than another term; for example, in the relationship between woman and humans, "woman" is a hyponym; in the relationship between cat and animal, "cat" is a hyponym.
Coined in 1963 by John Lyons, hyponym is supposed to describe an important notion which is central to the way we define meanings in terms of lexical structures.
People often construct meanings in terms of a hierarchy of categories, ranging from the generic, technically called the hypernym, literally "the word above"; to a subsidiary or hyponym, literally, "the word below".
"Cat" is a hyponym of animal, although all cats are animals, all animals are not cats. "French" is a hyponym of languages; and "square" is a hyponym of rectangle; also, the words "tulip" and "rose" are hyponyms of flower.