general

adjective
gen·er·al | \ ˈjen-rəl , ˈje-nə- \

Definition of general 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : involving, applicable to, or affecting the whole

2 : involving, relating to, or applicable to every member of a class, kind, or group the general equation of a straight line

3 : not confined by specialization or careful limitation a general outline

4 : belonging to the common nature of a group of like individuals : generic the general characteristics of a species

5a : applicable to or characteristic of the majority of individuals involved : prevalent the general opinion

b : concerned or dealing with universal rather than particular aspects

6 : relating to, determined by, or concerned with main elements rather than limited details bearing a general resemblance to the original

7 : holding superior rank or taking precedence over others similarly titled the general manager

general

noun

Definition of general (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something (such as a concept, principle, or statement) that involves or is applicable to the whole

3 archaic : the general public : people

4a : general officer

b : a commissioned officer in the army, air force, or marine corps who ranks above a lieutenant general and whose insignia is four stars — compare admiral

in general

: for the most part : generally In general, things are going as planned.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for general

Synonyms: Adjective

common, majority, overall, popular, prevailing, public, received, ruling, vulgar

Antonyms: Adjective

uncommon, unpopular

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Examples of general in a Sentence

Adjective

They have issued a general warning. The general consensus is that we should go ahead. The witness was able to provide a very general description of the thief. She began her talk with some general observations about the state of the industry. The book provides a good general introduction to the subject. My concerns are all general—nothing specific. The details of the new plan are different, but it's based on the same general concept. My general impression was that things were going well. They were found in the same general area. I'm going in the general direction of the store.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In general, though, it's not advised to use any products (including creams, gels, douches, and wipes) on your vaginal region, and that includes talcum powder. refinery29.com, "Johnson & Johnson Owes $4.69 Billion In Another Ovarian Cancer Case," 13 July 2018 In general, the Trump administration’s, or Trump’s, efforts are very disingenuous, because European countries already agreed in 2014 to start increasing their military spending. Heather Souvaine Horn, The New Republic, "Is It Fair for Trump to Bash NATO Over Military Spending?," 12 July 2018 In general, Medicaid has struggled for years with poor oversight and billions lost to improper payments, drawing regular scrutiny from federal auditors but little improvement. Chad Terhune, Washington Post, "Insurers Fall Short In Catching And Reporting Medicaid Fraud, Inspectors Find," 12 July 2018 In general, beaches are a safe place to be when lifeguards are on duty, Brewster said. Tessa Weinberg, chicagotribune.com, "A nighttime drowning in Lake Michigan - and no city lifeguards on duty prompts calls for change," 12 July 2018 In general, the nominations do a good job cherry-picking performances across a wide, occasionally baffling range: Laura Dern, a winner last year for Big Little Lies, as a woman remembering childhood abuse on the HBO movie The Tale. Tom Gilatto, PEOPLE.com, "Emmy Nominations 2018: PEOPLE's Critic Breaks Down All the Nods — and Predicts Some Winners," 12 July 2018 In general, sure, but particularly on the planet's leading source of information: Facebook. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "Facebook Opens Its Private Servers to Scientists Studying Fake News," 11 July 2018 In general, the age of respondents was highly correlated with their responses. Abigail Simon, Time, "Americans Say Barack Obama Was Best President of Their Lifetimes," 11 July 2018 Anthony Sindone, an economics professor at Purdue University Northwest, gave a bleak outlook for the region, and country in general, if a trade war continues and grows. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "As tariffs begin, Northwest Indiana auto workers and farmers share concerns," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The problem with much aid (and social spending in general) is that inputs are scrutinised more closely than results. The Economist, "Development-impact bonds are costly, cumbersome—and good," 12 July 2018 During the discussion, Charmeau addressed a number of different topics, including the recent speech where Trump directed his generals to separate current responsibilities for military spaceflight from the US Air Force. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "European rocket chief: Trump rhetoric strengthens our commitment to space," 2 July 2018 The guide, aimed to be used by young people, the teaching world, as well as political leaders, was presented by Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO's first Jewish director general. Fox News, "UN releases first education guide on fighting anti-Semitism," 4 June 2018 That said, eating lots of cruciferous veggies in general may decrease your risk of all kinds of chronic diseases! Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "It's Official: Cauliflower Is Just as Good for You as Colorful Veggies," 31 May 2018 Sichuan Airlines, and Chinese commercial aviation in general, have a good safety record. Trefor Moss, WSJ, "China Investigating How Cockpit Windshield Blew Out of Sichuan Airlines Flight," 15 May 2018 The heavily suburban district is the kind Democrats are hoping to pick up in the general in their attempt to take back the house. Seth A. Richardson & Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com, "Here are the 9 most interesting storylines from this week's Ohio primary election," 11 May 2018 Morrisey will now challenge incumbent Joe Manchin in the general, and, despite the state’s conservative culture, Morrisey’s no shoo-in. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Are West Virginia Republicans in Trouble?," 9 May 2018 The stories of the Confederacy and its generals shouldn’t have an unchallenged monopoly on the discussion. Benjamin Powers, Smithsonian, "In the Shadow of Stone Mountain," 4 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'general.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of general

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for general

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin generalis, from gener-, genus kind, class — more at kin

Noun

derivative of general entry 1

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Statistics for general

Last Updated

28 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for general

The first known use of general was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for general

general

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of general

: of, relating to, or affecting all the people or things in a group : involving or including many or most people

: relating to the main or major parts of something rather than the details : not specific

—used to indicate that a description relates to an entire person or thing rather than a particular part

general

adjective
gen·er·al | \ ˈje-nə-rəl , ˈjen-rəl \

Kids Definition of general

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having to do with the whole : applying to more than just a small area or group It's a matter of general interest.

2 : not specific or detailed The book is a good general introduction to football.

3 : involving or including many or most people Her plans won general acceptance.

4 : not specialized a general store

general

noun

Kids Definition of general (Entry 2 of 2)

: a military officer ranking above a colonel

in general

: for the most part In general, I like school.

general

adjective
gen·er·al | \ ˈjen-(ə-)rəl \

Medical Definition of general 

1 : not confined by specialization or careful limitation a general surgeon

2 : belonging to the common nature of a group of like individuals the general characteristics of a species

3 : involving or affecting practically the entire body or organism : not local general infirmity

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general

adjective
gen·er·al | \ ˈjen-rəl, ˈje-nə- \

Legal Definition of general 

1 : involving, applicable to, or affecting the whole

2 : involving, relating to, or applicable to every member of a class, kind, or group

3 : not confined by specialization or limitation

4 : relating to, determined by, or concerned with main elements rather than limiting details

5 : holding superior rank or taking precedence over others similarly titled the general manager

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Comments on general

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