General ‎(uncountable)

  1. (military) The military officer title


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Partly via Middle High German general, partly via French général, from Latin generalis.


  • IPA(key): /ˌge(ː).nəˈʁaːl/ (standard)
  • IPA(key): /ˌgɛ.nəˈʁaːl/ (alternatively in common speech)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aːl


General m ‎(genitive Generals or Generales, plural Generäle or Generale)

  1. (military) general (officer in any general rank)
  2. (military) general (officer in a specific general rank, usually the highest)
  3. (Roman Catholicism) general (head of an order)

Usage notesEdit

  • The two military senses exist alongside each other. In the German Bundeswehr, all army and air-force officers above the rank of colonel (Oberst) are referred to as Generale and each of them is addressed as Herr General. At the same time, General is a specific rank, namely the highest existing rank, typically held by the inspector general and at most one or two other generals.
  • The plural is Generale in the Bundeswehr’s official terminology, but more commonly Generäle otherwise. Singular forms with -e- (des Generales, dem Generale) are exceedingly rare.


Derived termsEdit

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