general

adjective
gen·​er·​al | \ ˈjen-rəl How to pronounce general (audio) , ˈje-nə-\

Definition of general

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : involving, applicable to, or affecting the whole
2 : involving, relating to, or applicable to every member of a class, kind, or group the general equation of a straight line
3 : not confined by specialization or careful limitation a general outline
4 : belonging to the common nature of a group of like individuals : generic the general characteristics of a species
5a : applicable to or characteristic of the majority of individuals involved : prevalent the general opinion
b : concerned or dealing with universal rather than particular aspects
6 : relating to, determined by, or concerned with main elements rather than limited details bearing a general resemblance to the original
7 : holding superior rank or taking precedence over others similarly titled the general manager

general

noun

Definition of general (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something (such as a concept, principle, or statement) that involves or is applicable to the whole
3 archaic : the general public : people
b : a commissioned officer in the army, air force, or marine corps who ranks above a lieutenant general and whose insignia is four stars — compare admiral
in general
: for the most part : generally In general, things are going as planned.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for general

Synonyms: Adjective

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

Antonyms: Adjective

individual, particular

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Examples of general in a Sentence

Adjective

They have issued a general warning. The general consensus is that we should go ahead. The witness was able to provide a very general description of the thief. She began her talk with some general observations about the state of the industry. The book provides a good general introduction to the subject. My concerns are all general—nothing specific. The details of the new plan are different, but it's based on the same general concept. My general impression was that things were going well. They were found in the same general area. I'm going in the general direction of the store.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But the general idea is the bowlers bowl to the batter, who tries to bat it into the great beyond. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Explaining cricket, the world's second-most popular sport, to Americans," 13 July 2019 Construction of the project took 22 months with an average of 193 workers per day, said general contractor Suffolk Construction. San Diego Union-Tribune, "One of San Diego’s most expensive apartment complexes opens," 13 July 2019 Mo, who came to the U.S. from China in 2014, was transferred into the general education honors curriculum after one semester as an English language learner, Bass said. Phil Rockrohr, chicagotribune.com, "Mayor honors two top Lincolnwood students," 12 July 2019 Some changes to the facade were made during the design review process, but the structure maintained its general size and shape, and was unanimously approved by the Boston Civic Design Commission on Tuesday. Tim Logan, BostonGlobe.com, "City planners approve BU’s wild-looking data sciences building," 12 July 2019 But the issue has taken a backseat with lawmakers on vacation and a general lack of urgency as the calendar turns to summer. Russell Blair, courant.com, "Capitol Week in Review: Lamont shakes up office, tolls vote remains elusive," 12 July 2019 The company woos potential investors with grand plans of one day disrupting areas like general insurance, home security, elder care, and more. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "On TikTok, Teens Meme the Safety App Ruining Their Summer," 12 July 2019 Those specific injuries are what make researchers believe the body is the general’s. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Remains of Napoleonic General Believed to Have Been Found in Russian Park," 12 July 2019 The cone is best used to get an idea of where the storm is, where it’s headed and a general idea about tracking trends. Leigh Morgan, al.com, "Tropical Storm Barry: Let’s talk about ‘The Cone’," 11 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But more typically, laws that regulate pollutant discharge apply to pollutants like solid waste in general, not nurdles specifically. Julissa Treviño, WIRED, "Little Plastic 'Nurdles' Are Flooding Beaches and Waterways," 10 July 2019 Every party plays to its base in the primaries and attempts to soften its stands in the general. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "The 2020 Democrats Lack Hindsight," 28 June 2019 Manders says staying healthy in general can reduce your risk of breast cancer and other diseases. Ladan Nikravan Hayes, Cincinnati.com, "‘Let’s Talk’: These traits increase the risk of developing breast cancer," 26 June 2019 In these past months, Kaci said customers have been more conscious about using straws and reducing waste in general. Melissa Chen, The Mercury News, "Palo Alto tells restaurants to toss disposable foodware; restrictions on straws, cups and utensils may spread to other Bay Area cities," 23 June 2019 In recent elections, a number of anti-vax challengers either won primaries but lost in the general or did not even make it to the final round. Time, "'They’re Chipping Away.' Inside the Grassroots Effort to Fight Mandatory Vaccines," 13 June 2019 In fact, yoga in general can be an effective way to fight cramps, particularly in poses that involve folding in a way that releases your lower back, according to Krissy Jones of Sky Ting Yoga. Danielle Sinay, Teen Vogue, "The Best Sleeping Positions for Period Cramp Relief," 13 Mar. 2019 The region’s attorney-general died of his wounds on Monday, according to local media reports. Washington Post, "Plotter of failed Ethiopia coup killed, 182 others arrested," 24 June 2019 Hawley, the state's attorney general, is scheduled to speak Wednesday during chapel at Hannibal-LaGrange University. Fox News, "Hawley to speak at university chapel, despite IRS guideline," 28 Sep. 2018

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

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for general

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin generalis, from gener-, genus kind, class — more at kin

Noun

derivative of general entry 1

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Statistics for general

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for general

The first known use of general was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for general

general

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of general

: of, relating to, or affecting all the people or things in a group : involving or including many or most people
: relating to the main or major parts of something rather than the details : not specific
used to indicate that a description relates to an entire person or thing rather than a particular part

general

adjective
gen·​er·​al | \ ˈje-nə-rəl How to pronounce general (audio) , ˈjen-rəl\

Kids Definition of general

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having to do with the whole : applying to more than just a small area or group It's a matter of general interest.
2 : not specific or detailed The book is a good general introduction to football.
3 : involving or including many or most people Her plans won general acceptance.
4 : not specialized a general store

general

noun

Kids Definition of general (Entry 2 of 2)

: a military officer ranking above a colonel
in general
: for the most part In general, I like school.

general

adjective
gen·​er·​al | \ ˈjen-(ə-)rəl How to pronounce general (audio) \

Medical Definition of general

1 : not confined by specialization or careful limitation a general surgeon
2 : belonging to the common nature of a group of like individuals the general characteristics of a species
3 : involving or affecting practically the entire body or organism : not local general infirmity

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general

adjective
gen·​er·​al | \ ˈjen-rəl, ˈje-nə- How to pronounce general (audio) \

Legal Definition of general

1 : involving, applicable to, or affecting the whole
2 : involving, relating to, or applicable to every member of a class, kind, or group
3 : not confined by specialization or limitation
4 : relating to, determined by, or concerned with main elements rather than limiting details
5 : holding superior rank or taking precedence over others similarly titled the general manager

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Comments on general

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