Taxonomy [tak-son-uh-mee] is the practice and science of classification. The word finds its roots in the Greek ‘taxis’ (meaning ‘order’ or ‘arrangement’) and ‘nomos’ (meaning ‘law’ or ‘science’).

Taxonomies are typically organized by generalization-specialization relationships, or less formally, parent-child relationships: the subtype has the same properties, behaviors, and constraints as the supertype plus one or more. For example: car is a subtype of vehicle, so any car is also a vehicle, but not every vehicle is a car.

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