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gen·er·al (jĕnər-əl)
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adj.
1. Concerned with, applicable to, or affecting the whole or every member of a class or category: "subduing all her impressions as a woman, to something more general" (Virginia Woolf).
2. Affecting or characteristic of the majority of those involved; prevalent: general discontent.
3. Of or affecting the entire body: general paralysis.
4. Being usually the case; true or applicable in most instances but not all: the general correctness of her decisions.
5.
a. Not limited in scope, area, or application: as a general rule.
b. Not limited to or dealing with one class of things; diversified: general studies.
6. Involving only the main features rather than precise details: a general grasp of the subject.
7. Highest or superior in rank: the general manager.
n.
1.
a. A commissioned rank in the US Army, Air Force, or Marine Corps that is above lieutenant general.
b. One who holds this rank or a similar rank in another military organization.
2. A general officer.
3. A statement, principle, or fact that embraces or is applicable to the whole.
4. General anesthesia.
5. Archaic The public.
Idiom:
in general
Generally.

[Middle English, from Latin generālis, from genus, gener-, kind; see genə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

gener·al·ness n.

Synonyms: general, common, universal
These adjectives mean belonging to, relating to, or affecting the whole: the general welfare; a common enemy; universal military conscription.
Antonym: particular

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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