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Class vs Category vs Genus vs Species vs Denomination vs Genre

Class, category, genus, species, denominationgenre are compared here only in their general, nonspecialized use, and the following comments may be inapplicable to such technical fields as philosophy and the sciences.

Class is a very general term for a group including all individuals with a common characteristic.

Class consistently implies division which may involve abstraction of a single group from a greater unclassified mass or the separation of a larger group into discrete subgroups; the basis of such a division may be strictly logical or a mere matter of convenience, and often it involves a value judgment.

Category may be interchangeable with class but is sometimes more precise in suggesting classification or grouping on the basis of a certain readily perceived criterion or on a predication, often an explicit one.

Genus and species, scientific in their suggestion, differ in that the first implies a larger less specific group, the latter a smaller more specific one.

Denomination usually indicates that the group under consideration has been or may be named explicitly and clearly; it is common in religious use and use with a series of closely related units.

Genre refers to a specific, named type; its use is mainly restricted to literature and art.