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

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 Ficenec isn’t just speaking in generalities: last year, researchers from across the country quantified how much land would need to be converted to habitat to save the monarchs — and compared it to how much land is available to do so. Anna Groves, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "They're beautiful — and in danger. Now, a huge effort focuses on saving monarch butterflies," 13 July 2018 Like Gorsuch, the nominee will rely on airy generalities rather than on specific examples. Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker, "How Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Could Undo Kennedy’s Legacy," 9 July 2017 Regardless of its generality, the idea of community answers another consumer need. Anthony Alofsin, The Atlantic, "A Defense of the Suburbs," 6 June 2018 His stories are uncontaminated by principles of composition, or even by respectable generalities touching on how sentences ought to be made. Cynthia Ozick, New York Times, "One Last Book From a Virtuoso of the Short Story," 14 May 2018 And simultaneous translating is quite tricky between the specifics prized in English and the vague, often intentionally incomprehensible generalities that are laced through Asian languages to avoid offense. Andrew Malcolm, San Francisco Chronicle, "Trump’s Korea initiative is risky and unprecedented," 2 May 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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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).


a tendency to relapse

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