gen·​er·​al·​ized | \ˈjen-rə-ˌlīzd, ˈje-nə-\

Definition of generalized 

: made general especially : not highly differentiated biologically nor strictly adapted to a particular environment

Examples of generalized in a Sentence

The patient has been experiencing generalized pain.

Recent Examples on the Web

Twitter’s defining characteristic as a company, to my mind, is a kind of generalized haplessness. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why social media is friend to far-right politicians around the world," 30 Oct. 2018 The impulse to escape—surely a generalized spiritual longing not limited to living in the British Isles—was channeled in Molly Goddard’s happy summer holiday collection. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "The Top 9 Collections of London Fashion Week Spring 2019," 19 Sep. 2018 All at once, her generalized teenage anxieties focused. Nathan Heller, Vogue, "Claire Foy on Becoming a Mother and Trading Her Crown for a Dragon Tattoo," 10 Oct. 2018 The most obvious factor for the PRI’s rapid decline is a generalized rejection of the party. Michael Lettieri, Washington Post, "Mexico votes tomorrow. Here’s how the country will be radically transformed when the PRI loses.," 30 June 2018 Rather than asking Kris to wipe the mirror, or to be more careful, Kim launches straight for a generalized attack. Jessica Bloom, The Cut, "I Think About This a Lot: Kim Kardashian Brushing Her Teeth," 21 May 2018 The result is a generalized yellowing, lackluster growth and sometimes, even some shoot dieback. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "There's no such thing as 'average' Kentucky weather. And trees hate that," 13 July 2018 About two dozen attended the hour-long meeting where school officials repeated a prior presentation on the district’s balance sheet and provided generalized plans for academics. Meredith Colias-pete, Post-Tribune, "Resident at first Gary schools forum: 'Where do you come down in terms of obligations to the community?'," 11 July 2018 There's even talk of more countries joining Canada in a more generalized boycott. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "Trump's insults, tariffs inspire Canadians to organize boycott of U.S. goods," 18 June 2018

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

1768, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

27 Nov 2018

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The first known use of generalized was in 1768

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More Definitions for generalized



English Language Learners Definition of generalized

: not specific : not limited to a particular area, part, etc.


variants: or British generalised

Medical Definition of generalized 

1a : spread or extended throughout the body : affecting many parts of the body generalized paralysis generalized aches and pains

b : affecting or involving all of a single part or region of the body generalized back pain generalized mouth soreness

2 : not highly differentiated biologically nor strictly adapted to a particular environment a primitive generalized mammal

More from Merriam-Webster on generalized

Nglish: Translation of generalized for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of generalized for Arabic Speakers

Comments on generalized

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a nest or breeding place

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