gen·​er·​al·​i·​ty | \ ˌje-nə-ˈra-lə-tē How to pronounce generality (audio) \
plural generalities

Definition of generality

1 : the quality or state of being general
b : a vague or inadequate statement
3 : the greatest part : bulk the generality of the population

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Examples of generality in a Sentence

He spoke in generalities as he discussed his plans for the future. I noticed the generality of the language he used in discussing his plans.

Recent Examples on the Web

Nevertheless, Saberi said, solving the traveling salesman approximation problem in its full generality will probably require an infusion of new ideas. Quanta Magazine, "Computer Scientists Take Road Less Traveled," 29 Jan. 2013 Because that transaction cannot be completed until July 6, Heat President Pat Riley has to dance around a question when asked about the generalities of the Heat's second-round dealings, with an appreciation that specifics had to be avoided. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Tax again has Heat in less-than-luxurious position | Commentary," 22 June 2019 But Williamson also showcased an ability to charm most of her profilers and sound surprisingly commonsense when speaking in generalities. Jim Geraghty, National Review, "Twenty Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Marianne Williamson," 1 July 2019 Democracy assumes that the generality of the population have the wisdom to govern a nation. Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Is Poverty Necessary?," 10 June 2019 Researchers can describe in generalities many things that happen in sleeping brains. Quanta Magazine, "You Are Getting Sleepy — Tagged Proteins May Point to Why," 21 Aug. 2018 Part of the problem is that these essays often take a first-person-plural perspective, which flattens the drama of specificity with sweeping generalities. Emily Bobrow, WSJ, "‘Almost Everything’ Review: Finding Beauty," 26 Oct. 2018 Trump delivered it while getting nothing in return beyond the same generalities that North Korea has been offering since the early 1990s. Washington Post, "Trump contradicts US military stance on Korea war games," 12 June 2018 There are perhaps too many resonant generalities about the importance of storytelling. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "‘There There’ is an Energetic Revelation of a Corner of American Life," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'generality.' 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 generality

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for generality

Last Updated

1 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for generality

The first known use of generality was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of generality

: a statement that is not specific or detailed
: the quality or state of being general rather than specific or detailed
British : the biggest part of a group

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More from Merriam-Webster on generality

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with generality

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for generality

Spanish Central: Translation of generality

Nglish: Translation of generality for Spanish Speakers

Comments on generality

What made you want to look up generality? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


recurring in steady succession

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