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

across-the-board, blanket, broad-brush, common, generic, global, overall, universal

Antonyms: Adjective

individual, particular

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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, precum doesn’t seem to transport top-notch sperm (no offense to the little wrigglers that wind up in this fluid). Kasandra Brabaw, SELF, "Can You Get Pregnant From Precum?," 7 Mar. 2019 Last week: 5 Results: Beat Arizona 83-76, lost to Arizona State 98-87 Next up: at Washington (Wednesday) Comment: With Utah’s defense, as with the Pac-12 in general, I am mesmerized by the mess. Utes are No. Jon Wilner, The Seattle Times, "Pac-12 power rankings: As regular season winds down, UW still the clear favorite," 19 Feb. 2019 People's nostalgia for the Super Nintendo (and Nintendo platforms in general) is fierce. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Our favorite (and least favorite) tech of 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Newspaper comic strips in general are having a tough time of it in the 2010s, thanks to the slow suffocation of the print industry. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Nancy, a 1930s comic strip, was the funniest thing I read in 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Change is hard in general, but what are some specific factors that are keeping the courts from changing? Angela Chen, The Verge, "The dean of UCLA Law explains the uncertain future of forensic science," 20 Dec. 2018 Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert says the team will not place a transition or franchise tag on Bell, meaning the star running back will become a free agent next month. Will Graves, The Seattle Times, "Steelers won’t tag Bell; will explore trade for Brown," 20 Feb. 2019 In general, full sun is considered 6 to 8 hours per day. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "Annuals vs. Perennials: Everything You Need to Know," 1 Feb. 2019 In general, our team struggled to eat the high-fat yogurts without at least joking about calories. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "How low-fat dairy came to rule the US — and why that’s changing.," 20 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But when the popularity of Yellow Tail faded, the market for Australian wines in general dried up as well. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "Find a Wine That’s More Than a Passing Fad," 13 Sep. 2018 Republicans nominated multiple Senate candidates in 2010 and 2012 who looked great in the primary, but stumbled in the general. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Dem Civil War: Fury over Trump summit threatens to expose new party divisions," 19 July 2018 The two men then shook hands, bumped heads and poked each other in the eyes, then Trump slapped the general on the back, who then spit out water and the two drove off in a really small car. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "Trump Saluted a North Korean General, but Let’s Keep Talking About Kneeling NFL Players," 14 June 2018 Endless war has taken a toll on this series, and the generals need a new strategy. T.c. Sottek, The Verge, "Battlefield V’s single-player stories are the right way to do war games," 20 Nov. 2018 The general has been a popular target for scammers. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Online Scammers Won't Stop Impersonating This Four-Star Army General," 14 Aug. 2018 Commanding generals usually serve two-year rotations. Andrew Dyer, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Miramar air wing welcomes new commanding general," 13 July 2018 For example, charters are not subject to the auditor general's annual classroom-spending audit as districts are. Ricardo Cano, azcentral, "Arizona superintendent candidates: Charters need more financial oversight," 12 July 2018 Canada’s governor general struggled to live down perceived inappropriate touching of the Queen last year. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "President Trump Will Meet Queen Elizabeth II on Friday. Here's What He Should—and Shouldn't Do," 12 July 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

13 Mar 2019

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 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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