generalization

noun
gen·​er·​al·​i·​za·​tion | \ ˌjen-rə-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce generalization (audio) , ˌje-nə-\

Definition of generalization

1 : the act or process of generalizing
2 : a general statement, law, principle, or proposition made broad generalizations about women
3 : the act or process whereby a learned response is made to a stimulus similar to but not identical with the conditioned stimulus

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Examples of generalization in a Sentence

He made several sweeping generalizations about women. She was prone to generalization.

Recent Examples on the Web

If the 2000s were the golden age of TV, then in recent years TV has expanded so dramatically–and filled so many long-standing voids in American entertainment–that generalizations about its quality are now impossible. Judy Berman, Time, "With Meryl Streep on Big Little Lies, It's Time to Admit That Film and TV Are Converging," 6 June 2019 Palais was exploring what was then mostly uncharted territory lying between analysis (a generalization of calculus) and topology and geometry (which study the structure of shapes). Quanta Magazine, "Karen Uhlenbeck, Uniter of Geometry and Analysis, Wins Abel Prize," 19 Mar. 2019 Not all of those generalizations were totally fair, of course, and most of the people who complained about those problems would never have been watching the NBA regardless. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "The Finals Are a Preview of a Better NBA Future," 5 June 2019 Fortunately, the works on view resist generalization. New York Times, "The Art of Staying Cool: 10 Can’t-Miss Summer Shows in New York," 4 July 2018 However, any generalizations about environmentalists are absurd. WSJ, "Well-Sited Wind Towers Make Good Sense," 11 Feb. 2019 With vintage tools, as a generalization, all that stuff was built in that era in America when things were super heavy-duty, the metals in the old machinery were better. Popular Mechanics, "Iconic Guitar Builder Loses His Home and Workshop to Flames in Paradise," 16 Nov. 2018 But there are exceptions, as there always are, to that kind of generalization. Sean Illing, Vox, "The case for abolishing the Supreme Court," 12 Oct. 2018 Still, the small population does limit generalization to the species as a whole, and getting data from other baboon parties will be necessary, as well as populations in other places, before drawing firm conclusions. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Some clues about why male Guinea baboons fondle each other’s genitals," 18 Nov. 2018

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

1761, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for generalization

generalize + -ation

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Statistics for generalization

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for generalization

The first known use of generalization was in 1761

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More Definitions for generalization

generalization

noun

English Language Learners Definition of generalization

often disapproving
: a general statement : a statement about a group of people or things that is based on only a few people or things in that group
: the act or process of forming opinions that are based on a small amount of information

generalization

noun
gen·​er·​al·​iza·​tion | \ ˌje-nə-rə-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce generalization (audio) \

Kids Definition of generalization

1 : the act of forming conclusions from a small amount of information
2 : a general statement : a conclusion based on only a small number of items or instances

generalization

noun
gen·​er·​al·​iza·​tion
variants: or British generalisation \ ˌjen-​(ə-​)rə-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce generalisation (audio) \

Medical Definition of generalization

1 : the action or process of becoming widespread or diffuse secondary generalization of a partial seizure
2 : the act or process whereby a learned response is made to a stimulus similar to but not identical with the conditioned stimulus

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Comments on generalization

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