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 Without that lovely little adjective, the wheelbarrow might simply be a bland generality. Danny Heitman, WSJ, "The Poetry of the Prosaic," 2 Oct. 2020 Finding the right definition for an object, at the right level of generality, is a major preoccupation of the mathematicians building mathlib. Quanta Magazine, "Building the Mathematical Library of the Future," 1 Oct. 2020 The generality of this theory means that it can be applied to a wide range of examples where gender imbalance is found. Eugenia Cheng, Wired, "How to Undo Gender Stereotypes in Math—With Math!," 25 Aug. 2020 Most spoke in generalities, with language unlikely to challenge or offend anyone but virulent racists. Mike Finger,, "Mike Finger: For college coaches, speaking out is an obligation," 30 May 2020 In its predictable generalities, Broke is a mass of multicam cliches. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Broke': TV Review," 2 Apr. 2020 Predictably, Belichick spoke in generalities about this year's incoming crop of passers, which also includes includes LSU's Joe Burrow, Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa, Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts, Georgia's Jake Fromm and Washington's Jacob Eason. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Bill Belichick on Tom Brady: Patriots 'moving forward and focused on the draft'," 14 Apr. 2020 Her plans forced other candidates to offer actual policy ideas instead of vague generalities. New York Times, "‘America Needs Her’: Readers React to Elizabeth Warren’s Exit," 6 Mar. 2020 Flutter-bees of temporary insanity, cousin of generalities. Diane Mehta, The New Yorker, "Bunches of a Nest," 24 Feb. 2020

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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Cite this Entry

“Generality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for generality

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