I have a question about hypernym/hyponym concerning the word (or meaning) of 'event'.

Suppose Glastonbury 2014 is an event. During that Glastonbury 2014 there can be sub-events happening across shorter timespan. E.g., a gig by someone on day 2; a poor woman fell into toilet on day x; clash between security and a group of people; long waiting queue to get out on the last day...

My question is what's the best choice of terms to describe the two levels of 'event'? I have thought about a few below but I don't know if they are ok or if there are any better ones?

'Glastonbury 2014': event 'sub-events mentioned above': sub-event

or 'Glastonbury 2014': macro-event 'sub-events mentioned above': micro-event

or 'Glastonbury 2014': event 'sub-events mentioned above': incident (doesnt sound right to refer to a gig)

Any suggestions much appreciated!

  • 3
    Can you work on a case by case basis? That is, "event" describes Glastonbury fine until you need to use the word "event" for something else. At which point, use "festival" for Glasto and "incident" for something potentially negative, "mishap" for accident, "brawl" for a fight and so on. In short, make a list of words you'll need, and then see which ones work best for the individual situation/event.
    – JMB
    Mar 10, 2015 at 10:26
  • @JMB this probably makes the answer to the question. :) +1
    – Maulik V
    Mar 10, 2015 at 10:40
  • Cheers @MaulikV, but at the time I considered it friendly/useful advice! :)
    – JMB
    Mar 10, 2015 at 12:56
  • "incident (doesnt sound right to refer to a gig)" -- How about this pair: event and activity? Mar 10, 2015 at 14:03
  • Are you looking for a word that encompasses both the planned (e.g. performances) and the unplanned/accidental (lady's fall into toilet)? Or two separate words, one for planned, the other for the unplanned?
    – TimR
    Mar 10, 2015 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


Best if you call Glastonbury 2014 by its proper name: Festival. Then everything that happens there will be events.

So: Conference, Festival, Meeting, Convention, Championship, Fair - use the specific word when talking of a specific instance. Only when you need a hypernym for these in bulk, "you specialize in organizing events, like..." (and then you're unlikely to conflict with the minor events.)

  • Thank you. The problem is that I need to describe it in a generic way not any specific kind of events. But you were using 'minor events' which makes more sense. So I can say 'events such as glastonbury, conservatives conference etc' and 'minor events including a gig, group protest etc'
    – zig
    Mar 10, 2015 at 10:43
  • 1
    I'm afraid the super-star of the main concert at the festival may take an offense in having it called a 'minor event' ;)
    – SF.
    Mar 10, 2015 at 10:45

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