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 Instead of singing in sweeping generalities about empowerment, Aurora narrows her focus and lets her audience know that being vulnerable is truly powerful, all while twinkling synths and a killer hook make the song an unrelenting bop. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "25 Songs From LGBTQ Artists You May Have Missed In 2019," 19 Dec. 2019 Politicians who wish to signal their adherence to young-Earth creationism but want to avoid potentially embarrassing headlines tend to answer questions on the subject with the broadest of generalities. Charles Bethea, The New Yorker, "Mark Meadows and the Undisclosed Dinosaur Property," 1 Oct. 2019 Those are generalities, to be sure, but recent official reports from sources as diverse as the U.N., the CIA and academics agree that the people of the Sahara-Sahel face a deepening crisis. Smithsonian, "A photographer ventures into remote northern Africa for an unprecedented view of one of the world’s most troubled, and least understood, regions," 20 Dec. 2019 The debate is about whether these trends represent the generality. Wired, "This Is an Extinction Crisis, and Some Species Are Loving It," 30 Nov. 2019 All four players who were surveyed responded — but mostly in generalities. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football players comment on proposed NCAA rule changes," 30 Oct. 2019 Beyond some vague generalities about the types of experiments being conducted on the X-37B, the Air Force has kept mum on the specifics. Wired, "A Secret Space Plane Just Landed After a Record Stay in Orbit," 28 Oct. 2019 Even though there was agreement over the summer on suspending the debt limit until after the 2020 election and some other budget generalities, many points of contention remain. Tovin Lapan, Fortune, "As Impeachment Inquiry Takes Off, Trade Deal, Other Bills Might Be Stalled," 4 Oct. 2019 This abstract approach is what gives mathematics its power and generality. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘The Slippery Eel of Probability’," 14 Aug. 2015

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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Time Traveler for generality

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for generality

Last Updated

3 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Generality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for generality


How to pronounce generality (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for generality

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with generality

Spanish Central: Translation of generality

Nglish: Translation of generality for Spanish Speakers

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