From Middle English generally, generalliche, equivalent to general +‎ -ly.


  • IPA(key): /d͡ʒɛnɹəliː/, IPA(key): /d͡ʒɛn.əɹ.ə.li/
  • (file)


generally (comparative more generally, superlative most generally)

  1. Popularly or widely.
    It is generally known that the Earth is round.
  2. As a rule; usually.
    I generally have a walk in the afternoon.
    • 1661, John Fell, The Life of the most learned, reverend and pious Dr. H. Hammond
      During the whole time of his abode in the university he generally spent thirteen hours of the day in study; by which assiduity besides an exact dispatch of the whole course of philosophy, he read over in a manner all classic authors that are extant []
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in The Celebrity:
      He used to drop into my chambers once in a while to smoke, and was first-rate company. When I gave a dinner there was generally a cover laid for him. I liked the man for his own sake, and even had he promised to turn out a celebrity it would have had no weight with me.
    • 1922, Michael Arlen, “3/19/2”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days:
      Ivor had acquired more than a mile of fishing rights with the house ; he was not at all a good fisherman, but one must do something ; one generally, however, banged a ball with a squash-racket against a wall.
  3. Without reference to specific details.
    Generally speaking …
  4. (obsolete) Collectively; as a whole; without omissions.