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EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English general, in turn from Anglo-Norman general, generall, Middle French general, and their source, Latin generālis, from genus (class, kind) + -ālis (-al).

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈd͡ʒɛnɹəl/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈd͡ʒɛnəɹəl/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: gen‧er‧al

AdjectiveEdit

general (comparative more general, superlative most general)

  1. Including or involving every part or member of a given or implied entity, whole etc.; as opposed to specific or particular. [from 13th c.]
    • c. 1495, Skelton, John, Vppon a deedman's hed:
      It is generall / To be mortall: / I haue well espyde / No man may hym hyde / From Deth holow eyed [] .
    • 1842, Jerrold, Douglas, “Mr Peppersorn ‘At Home’”, in Cakes and Ale:
      "Among us!" was the general shout, and Peppersorn sat frozen to his chair.
    • 1946, Russell, Bertrand, “Stoicism”, in History of Western Philosophy, book 1, part 3:
      Undoubtedly the age of the Antonines was much better than any later age until the Renaissance, from the point of view of the general happiness.
    • 2006 October 15, Sutherland, Ruth, “Invite public to the private equity party”, in The Observer:
      One advantage of having profitable companies in Britain is that they pay large sums in corporate tax into the Exchequer, which in theory at least is used for the general good.
  2. (sometimes postpositive) Applied to a person (as a postmodifier or a normal preceding adjective) to indicate supreme rank, in civil or military titles, and later in other terms; pre-eminent. [from 14th c.]
    • 1865, Cust, Edward, Lives of the Warriors of the Thirty Years War, page 527:
      For these successes he obtained the rank of Field-Marshal General.
    • 2002, Turner, James, Libertines and Radicals in Early Modern London, page 122:
      He becomes the chief chartered libertine, the whoremaster-general flourishing his "standard" over a female army [] .
  3. Prevalent or widespread among a given class or area; common, usual. [from 14th c.]
    • 1817, Scott, Sir Walter, chapter IX, in Rob Roy:
      ‘I can't quite afford you the sympathy you expect upon this score,’ I replied; ‘the misfortune is so general, that it belongs to one half of the species [] .’
    • 2008 December 20, Patterson, John, “Home movies”, in The Guardian:
      The general opinion on Baz Luhrmann's overstuffed epic Australia seems to be that it throws in everything but the kitchen sink, and then tosses that in too, just to be sure.
  4. Not limited in use or application; applicable to the whole or every member of a class or category. [from 14th c.]
    • 1924 March 17, Time:
      M. Venizelos went to Athens from Paris early last January in response to a general invitation from the Greek populace.
    • 2009, Zipes, Douglas P., Saturday Evening Post, volume 281, number 1, page 20:
      Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a general term indicating a rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) coming from the top chambers of the heart - in essence, above (supra) the lower chamber (ventricular).
  5. Giving or consisting of only the most important aspects of something, ignoring minor details; indefinite. [from 16th c.]
    • 1817, Scott, Sir Walter, chapter X, in Rob Roy:
      As she thus spoke, the entrance of the servants with dinner cut off all conversation but that of a general nature.
    • 2006 July 16, Nance, Kevin, “Ghosts of the White City”, in Chicago Sun-Times:
      The quick answer is that the 1893 Exposition was simply so important — "the greatest event in the history of the country since the Civil War," as Harper's put it that October — but that feels too general.
    • 2008, Maloney, Robert P., “The Quiet Carpenter”, in America, volume 199, number 19, page 18:
      Given the scarcity of relevant historical detail in the New Testament, we are left with only a general outline about Joseph.
  6. Not limited to a specific class; miscellaneous, concerned with all branches of a given subject or area. [from 16th c.]
    • 1941, Maugham, W Somerset, Up at the Villa, Vintage, published 2004, page 24:
      There was a moment's pause. The Princess broke in with some casual remark and once more the conversation became general.
    • 1947 October 20, “Russian Catechism”, in Time:
      Already in the primary school work is conducted for the purpose of equipping the pupils with those elements of general knowledge which are closely related to the military preparation of future warriors.
    • 2007, Cheuse, Alan, “A Little Death”, in Southern Review, volume 43, number 3, page 692:
      His measured, springless walk was the walk of the skilled countryman as distinct from the desultory shamble of the general labourer [] .

SynonymsEdit

AntonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

NounEdit

general (plural generals)

  1. (now rare) A general fact or proposition; a generality. [from 16th c.]
    We have dealt with the generals; now let us turn to the particulars.
  2. (military) The holder of a senior military title, originally designating the commander of an army and now a specific rank falling under field marshal (in the British army) and below general of the army or general of the air force in the US army and air forces. [from 16th c.]
  3. A great strategist or tactician. [from 16th c.]
    Hannibal was one of the greatest generals of the ancient world.
  4. (Christianity) The head of certain religious orders, especially Dominicans or Jesuits. [from 16th c.]
  5. (nautical) A commander of naval forces; an admiral. [16th-18th c.]
  6. (colloquial, now historical) A general servant; a maid with no specific duties. [from 19th c.]
    • 1918, West, Rebecca, The Return of the Soldier, Virago, published 2014:
      She flung at us as we sat down, ‘My general is sister to your second housemaid.’
  7. A general anesthetic; general anesthesia.
  8. (insurance) The general insurance industry.
    I work in general.
Usage notesEdit

When used as a title, it is always capitalized.

Example: General John Doe.

The rank corresponds to pay grade O-10. Abbreviations: GEN.

Coordinate termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit

VerbEdit

general (third-person singular simple present generals, present participle generalling or generaling, simple past and past participle generalled or generaled)

  1. to lead (soldiers) as a general

AnagramsEdit


CatalanEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin generālis.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

general (masculine and feminine plural generals)

  1. general

NounEdit

general m (plural generals, feminine generala)

  1. general

Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit


DanishEdit

NounEdit

general c (singular definite generalen, plural indefinite generaler)

  1. general

InflectionEdit


LadinEdit

AdjectiveEdit

general m (feminine singular generala, masculine plural generai, feminine plural generales)

  1. general

Middle EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From a mixture of Anglo-Norman general, Middle French general, and Latin generālis.

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /dʒɛnəˈraːl/, /ˈdʒɛnəral/

AdjectiveEdit

general

  1. universal, complete
  2. comprehensive, wide-ranging
  3. general, widely useable or applicable
  4. common, widely present

DescendantsEdit

ReferencesEdit

NounEdit

general (plural generals)

  1. genus, class, group

ReferencesEdit


Norwegian BokmålEdit

NounEdit

general m (definite singular generalen, indefinite plural generaler, definite plural generalene)

  1. (military) a general

Norwegian NynorskEdit

NounEdit

general m (definite singular generalen, indefinite plural generalar, definite plural generalane)

  1. (military) a general

Old FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from Latin generālis.

NounEdit

general m (oblique plural generaus or generax or generals, nominative singular generaus or generax or generals, nominative plural general)

  1. (military) general

AdjectiveEdit

general m (oblique and nominative feminine singular generale)

  1. general (not limited in use or application; applicable to the whole or every member of a class or category)

DeclensionEdit

DescendantsEdit


PortugueseEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from Latin generālis. See also geral, from the same source.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

general m (plural generais, feminine generala, feminine plural generalas)

  1. general

DescendantsEdit


RomanianEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from French général, from Latin generālis.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

general m (plural generali)

  1. general

DeclensionEdit

AdjectiveEdit

general m, n (feminine singular generală, masculine plural generali, feminine and neuter plural generale)

  1. general

DeclensionEdit

Related termsEdit


Serbo-CroatianEdit

EtymologyEdit

From German General, from Latin generālis.

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /ɡeněraːl/
  • Hyphenation: ge‧ne‧ral

NounEdit

genèrāl m (Cyrillic spelling генѐра̄л)

  1. (military) general

DeclensionEdit


SloveneEdit

EtymologyEdit

From German General, from Latin generālis.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

generál m anim (genitive generála, nominative plural generáli, feminine generálica or generálinja)

  1. (military) general

DeclensionEdit


SpanishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin generālis.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

general (plural generales)

  1. general

Derived termsEdit

NounEdit

general m (plural generales, feminine generala, feminine plural generalas)

  1. (military) general

Further readingEdit


SwedishEdit

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

general c

  1. a general; a military title[1]
  2. an Air Chief Marshal[1]

DeclensionEdit

Declension of general 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative general generalen generaler generalerna
Genitive generals generalens generalers generalernas

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Utrikes namnbok (7th ed., 2007) →ISBN