general

adjective
gen·​er·​al | \ ˈjen-rəl How to pronounce general (audio) , 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
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

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Their cybersecurity has been weighed in the balances, and has, in general, been found wanting. Sarah Scoles, Wired, "The Feds Want These Teams to Hack a Satellite—From Home," 6 Aug. 2020 In general, Ramshaw likes to ask the questions—not answer them. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Meghan Markle Will Join ‘The 19th Represents Summit’ to Talk Gender, Representation, and the Future of News," 6 Aug. 2020 In that way, the movie becomes a commentary on colonization, in general. Mick Lasalle, ExpressNews.com, "Johnny Depp is savage in ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’," 6 Aug. 2020 But Smith noted that investors need to be aware in general that there are payouts to management. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Dan Gilbert's IPO raises $1.8 billion, launches trading on Wall Street," 6 Aug. 2020 But in general, Reels is very similar to TikTok, offering the same 15-second limit for videos, a music library to incorporate into clips, and the ability to upload original audio. Danielle Abril, Fortune, "Everything to know about Instagram Reels, Facebook’s new TikTok rival," 5 Aug. 2020 The chance of dying in general is typically very low, while the chance of dying from COVID-19 only grows as the disease spreads in a community. Dallas News, "How do we really know how many people the coronavirus has killed?," 5 Aug. 2020 It’s not uncommon to deal with vaginal and vulvar inflammation in general for a whole bevy of reasons. Isadora Baum, SELF, "8 Reasons Your Vulva or Vagina Might Get All Swollen," 5 Aug. 2020 In general, honkaku mysteries emphasize ingenuity above all else. Washington Post, "Locked-room masterpieces from Japan are the perfect escape for summer," 5 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At least 15 people were killed, including the plane’s pilot, said Loknath Behera, director general of police for the state of Kerala. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, "Plane skids off runway in India and breaks into pieces, killing 15," 7 Aug. 2020 One stipulation of the donation was that the museum’s reading room be named the Donald M. Marquis Reading Room, a permanent tribute to the man who meant so much to the museum specifically and jazz scholarship in general. Keith Spera, NOLA.com, "Writer Don Marquis' jazz-loving life in New Orleans comes to a close, with one last dance," 6 Aug. 2020 Archdiocese officials still hope to complete the facade church by Sept. 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the Rev. Alex Karloutsos, the vicar general of the archdiocese, said. Karen Matthews, Star Tribune, "Work resumes on church destroyed on 9/11," 3 Aug. 2020 Merger enforcement has declined under the Trump administration in general. Justin Elliott, ProPublica, "Justice Department Is Scrutinizing Takeover of Credit Karma by Intuit, Maker of TurboTax," 3 Aug. 2020 Plus, the quietude can help scientists who study the human noise itself, whether, for example, from automobile traffic in particular or rumbling local industry in general. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Why Earth Has Gotten 50 Percent Quieter Since the Spring," 27 July 2020 Itcalled attention to timely discussions about representation in the entertainment industry and society in general. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Black Trans Lives Matter: The LGBTQ fight comes to Hollywood," 9 July 2020 Part of what enranged critics, Trump had planned to speak to supporters on June 19, or Juneteenth, known as Emancipation Day -- the date in 1865 when a Union general traveled to Galveston, Texas to read President Lincoln’s orders freeing the slaves. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "'Black Wall Street': Trump's plan for rally in Tulsa calls attention to 1921 race massacre," 16 June 2020 The New York Attorney general’s Office, led by Letitia James, opened an investigation into President Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank in 2019 following testimony from former Trump lawyer and now convicted felon Michael Cohen. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Deutsche Bank gets $150M penalty for relationship with Jeffrey Epstein," 7 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for general

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for general

Last Updated

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“General.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/general. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for general

general

adjective
How to pronounce general (audio)

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 How to pronounce general (audio) , 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 How to pronounce general (audio) \

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- How to pronounce general (audio) \

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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