major general


: a commissioned officer in the army, air force, or marine corps who ranks above a brigadier general and whose insignia is two stars

Examples of major general in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Selected surgeries have been reduced at five major general hospitals in Seoul due to the walkout, Yonhap reported. Jenny Lee, Fortune Asia, 22 Feb. 2024 General Stafford, who received his first star in 1972, held major administrative positions in NASA after the Apollo 10 flight, then returned for his fourth space mission in the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project and was promoted to major general. Richard Goldstein, New York Times, 18 Mar. 2024 By contrast, Israel’s air force is commanded by a two-star major general, served by a far slimmer staff that has no choice but to devolve authority downward. Shashank Joshi, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 Another soldier featured is Maurice Rose, a son and grandson of rabbis from Poland who became a career officer in the United States Army, attaining the rank of major general during WWII. Judith Segaloff, Sun Sentinel, 11 Jan. 2024 The Frenchman had become a major general in the Continental Army at the age of 19, was a close friend of George Washington’s and played a key role in the colonists’ conclusive victory at Yorktown. Richard Grant, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Jan. 2024 Yadlin is a retired major general in the Israeli Air Force and served as head of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate from 2006 to 2010. Lisa Anderson, Foreign Affairs, 21 Dec. 2023 To Netanyahu’s right was Yoav Gallant, a former major general who serves as Israel’s defense minister. Ruth Margalit, New York Times, 27 Sep. 2023 As a Communist Party member who held a rank corresponding to major general in the United States, Dr. Jiang was taking a huge risk. Amy Qin, New York Times, 14 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'major general.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French major général, from major, noun + général, adjective, general

First Known Use

1633, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of major general was in 1633

Dictionary Entries Near major general

Cite this Entry

“Major general.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

major general

: a military commissioned officer with a rank just below that of lieutenant general

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