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 Rainfall totals from this batch seem to want to fall into the half inch to an inch range in general. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Rain develops tonight, continues through much of Sunday," 30 Nov. 2019 In fact, studies show that participation in group activities is down in general, in everything from book clubs, to parent-teacher associations, to churches, to country clubs. John Carlisle, Freep.com, "Polka, bingo and fish fries are slowly saving VFW post in Michigan's U.P.," 29 Nov. 2019 In general, companies post two to three times their normal volume of openings in November and December. Servers and bartenders can expect to earn around $18.50 an hour through Qwick. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Seasonal side hustles that can earn you cash for the holidays," 29 Nov. 2019 With the creation of the Paul Finebaum Radio Network in 2001 and the accompanying syndicate of the show, that expanded to SEC football fans in general. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Alabama 200: State’s sports history littered with amazing, memorable moments," 27 Nov. 2019 The promised rate on its cash management account is down to 1.8% as rates in general have fallen in response to recent Federal Reserve rate cuts On Oct 1. Kathleen Pender, SFChronicle.com, "Robinhood drops plan to start a bank, brokerage clients still waiting to interest on cash," 27 Nov. 2019 For other teams, and the league in general, the question of whether fan engagement and intimacy outweighs a potential decline in raw ticket sales—a natural byproduct of decreasing arena capacity—persists. Rob Schaefer, Fortune, "What to Expect When the WNBA’s New York Liberty Move to the Barclays Center in 2020," 27 Nov. 2019 In general, today’s laptops are so much thinner, more powerful, and more affordable than the laptops of yore, and so there’s never been a better time to upgrade. Whitson Gordon, NBC News, "How to buy the best laptop for your needs (and wants)," 27 Nov. 2019 But in general, the litigation was over his lousy business practices. Andrea Bernstein, ProPublica, "“Spreading Corruption Is a Russian Government Foreign Policy”," 27 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun She was withdrawn from her post in Ukraine in May. The documents released Friday also include a report that appears to summarize a Jan. 23 interview with a former Ukrainian prosecutor general, Victor Shokin. Arkansas Online, "Papers show contacts ahead of envoy's recall," 24 Nov. 2019 Pompeo was asked about Sondland at photo ops at the start of meetings with the foreign ministers of Romania and Turkey and the secretary general of NATO. Houston Chronicle, "The Latest: Sondland at odds with others on Ukraine meeting," 20 Nov. 2019 Reducing drug prices in general has become a high priority for both the Trump administration and Democrats in Congress. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Untangling the Trump administration’s lawsuit over an HIV prevention drug," 8 Nov. 2019 As the tight ends and passing game in general goes for the Bengals, so goes the running game. Pat Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "Bengals notebook: Cordy Glenn's return, Carlos Dunlap 'day to day'," 20 Oct. 2019 Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters Saturday that the coffins, with inscriptions and paintings, were found in the Asasif Necropolis on the River Nile’s west bank near Luxor. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Egypt reveals details of 30 ancient coffins found in Luxor," 19 Oct. 2019 And because airlines have been adding routes, more people are coming to the airport in general, Wilschetz said. Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times, "LAX to end curbside pickup by Uber and Lyft," 3 Oct. 2019 At the same time, the trucking population in general is adding to their ranks. Madison Iszler, ExpressNews.com, "Sources: Truck manufacturer Navistar to build plant in San Antonio," 18 Sep. 2019 The secretaries-general of the parliament and the commission are, too. The Economist, "Wurst among equals," 11 July 2019

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

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“General.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/general. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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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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