generic

adjective
ge·​ner·​ic | \ jə-ˈner-ik How to pronounce generic (audio) , -ˈne-rik\

Definition of generic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : relating to or characteristic of a whole group or class : general "Romantic comedy" is the generic term for such films.
b : not being or having a particular brand name generic drugs
c : having no particularly distinctive quality or application generic restaurants
2 : relating to or having the rank of a biological genus

generic

noun

Definition of generic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a product (such as a drug) that does not have a brand name

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from generic

Adjective

generically \ jə-​ˈner-​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce generically (audio) , -​ˈne-​ri-​ \ adverb
genericness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for generic

Synonyms: Adjective

across-the-board, blanket, broad-brush, common, general, global, overall, universal

Antonyms: Adjective

individual, particular

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of generic in a Sentence

Adjective

“Flu” is sometimes used as a generic term for any illness caused by a virus. a love of big things—big cars, big meals—seems to be a generic trait of the American people

Noun

You can substitute generics for brand-name drugs on this health plan.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Hunter scored two major settlements ahead of the trial: $270 million from Purdue Pharma and another $85 million from Teva Pharmaceuticals, one of the world's largest makers of generic drugs. Wayne Drash, CNN, "Expert witness: Johnson & Johnson's role in opioid crisis may be 'worse' than Purdue's," 11 June 2019 But Enbrel, which earned Pfizer $2.1 billion in 2018, now faces generic competition. Author: Christopher Rowland, Anchorage Daily News, "Pfizer had clues its blockbuster drug could prevent Alzheimer’s. Why didn’t it tell the world?," 5 June 2019 But Enbrel, which earned Pfizer $2.1 billion in 2018, now faces generic competition. Christopher Rowland, Washington Post, "Pfizer had clues its blockbuster drug could prevent Alzheimer’s. Why didn’t it tell the world?," 4 June 2019 But Enbrel, which earned Pfizer $2.1 billion in 2018, now faces generic competition. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Pfizer kept quiet about drug’s new Alzheimer’s potential," 4 June 2019 The maker of Viagra and the advanced breast cancer drug Ibrance has been dealing for several years with declining revenue as patents expired and generic competition began for a series of big-selling drugs, as have many other drugmakers. Linda A. Johnson, The Seattle Times, "Drugmaker Pfizer’s CEO Read to be replaced by COO Bourla," 1 Oct. 2018 For example, some people have better luck with micronized tretinoin (Retin-A Micro or micronized generic tretinoin) because it's formulated in a way that allows for smaller doses of medication to be delivered to the skin at a time. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Can People With Sensitive Skin Be in the Retinol Club, Too?," 30 Apr. 2019 Not airbrushed, stick-thin women who all look the same and fit into the generic box of Eurocentric beauty standards. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "20 Inspiring Beauty Instagram Accounts Led by Women of Color," 29 Apr. 2019 And currently at least five manufacturers of the generic drug are short-stocked, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "There’s an Anxiety Drug Shortage—Here’s What You Need to Know," 11 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These are drugs that have long been available under pricey brand names but were difficult to approve as generics because of complex means of administration, like nose sprays or injections. Thomas M. Burton, WSJ, "FDA Approves Teva’s Generic Version of EpiPen Injector," 16 Aug. 2018 By delaying development of generics, drugmakers can maintain their monopolies and keep prices high. Sydney Lupkin — Kaiser Health News, STAT, "Drug makers blamed for blocking generics have jacked up prices and cost U.S. billions," 23 May 2018 Yet a few are particularly high, including on some generics, the cheaper alternative to branded accounting for nine out of 10 prescriptions filled in the U.S. Jared S. Hopkins, WSJ, "Drugmakers Raise Prices on Hundreds of Medicines," 1 Jan. 2019 Plan B One-Step and its generics are made up of a single pill containing the full 1.5-milligram dose. Natasha Lavender, SELF, "Here's How Emergency Contraception Actually Works," 1 Apr. 2019 Drug shortages have been on the rise in the United States — tripling from 2007 to 2012, according to the Brookings Institution — and generics are responsible for many of them. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The Trump administration finally has one good idea to lower drug prices," 20 July 2018 Some of the research projects are for biosimilars, essentially generics for biologic drugs. Denise Roland, WSJ, "King of Generics Pushes Into Biotech Drugs," 13 Feb. 2019 The government index tracks a set of medications including brand drugs and generics. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s speech exaggerates border peril," 6 Feb. 2019 Gynecologists suspect that generics may not perfectly match brand-name formulations, and that the slight difference may be enough to cause breakthrough bleeding. Amy Marturana, SELF, "12 Causes of Spotting and Breakthrough Bleeding," 28 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'generic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of generic

Adjective

1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1967, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for generic

Adjective

French générique, from Latin gener-, genus birth, kind, class

Noun

derivative of generic entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about generic

Statistics for generic

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for generic

The first known use of generic was in 1676

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for generic

generic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of generic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to a whole group or class
: not sold or made under a particular brand name
biology : of or relating to a genus

generic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of generic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a product (such as a drug) that is not sold or made under a particular brand name : a generic product

generic

adjective
ge·​ner·​ic | \ jə-ˈner-ik How to pronounce generic (audio) \

Medical Definition of generic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not protected by trademark registration : nonproprietary nylon and aspirin are generic names used especially in trademark law
2 : relating to or having the rank of a biological genus

Other Words from generic

generically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce generically (audio) \ adverb

generic

noun

Medical Definition of generic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a generic drug usually used in plural

generic

adjective
ge·​ner·​ic | \ jə-ˈner-ik How to pronounce generic (audio) \

Legal Definition of generic

1 : common or descriptive and not entitled to trademark protection : nonproprietary the generic name of a drug
2 : having a nonproprietary name generic drugs

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on generic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with generic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for generic

Spanish Central: Translation of generic

Nglish: Translation of generic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of generic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on generic

What made you want to look up generic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!