Meaning of GENERAL in English

GENERAL

I. gen ‧ e ‧ ral 1 S1 W1 /ˈdʒen ə rəl/ BrE AmE adjective [usually before noun]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ generalization , ↑ general , ↑ generalist , ↑ generality ; adjective : ↑ general , ↑ generalist , ↑ generalized ; verb : ↑ generalize ; adverb : ↑ generally ]

[ Date: 1100-1200 ; Language: French ; Origin: Latin generalis 'of the whole type' , from genus ; ⇨ ↑ genus ]

1 . NOT DETAILED describing or relating to only the main features or parts of something, not the details:

a general introduction to computing

I skimmed through it to get a general impression of the text.

I have a general idea of what I want to express.

He spoke in general terms about greater competitiveness.

2 . in general

a) usually or in most situations:

In general, about 10% of the candidates are eventually offered positions.

b) used when talking about the whole of a situation, group, or thing, rather than specific parts of it:

a feeling of dissatisfaction with life in general

These policies are unpopular with politicians and people in general.

We’re trying to raise awareness about the environment in general and air pollution in particular.

3 . RELATING TO WHOLE involving the whole of a situation, group, or thing, rather than specific parts of it:

There has been a general decline in standards.

ways to improve your general health

4 . ORDINARY ordinary or usual:

general cooking and cleaning

I hate paperwork as a general rule.

5 . MOST PEOPLE shared by or affecting most people, or most of the people in a group:

These courses are based around topics of general interest.

How soon can the drug be made available for general use?

6 . NOT LIMITED not limited to one use, activity, subject etc:

The next ten minutes passed in general conversation.

It’s a good general fertilizer.

Watford General Hospital

This type of microphone is suitable for general use.

7 . APPROXIMATE used to talk about an approximate area or direction:

Pat and his friend were in the general area of the crime when it happened.

They started walking in the general direction of the pub.

8 . JOB used in the name of a job to show that the person who does it has complete responsibility:

the general manager

the Attorney General

• • •

THESAURUS

▪ in general used when saying that something is usually true in most situations, or about most people or things:

In general, temporary jobs are less well-paid.

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In general, the bigger a company becomes, the harder it is to maintain customer satisfaction.

▪ generally another way of saying ‘in general’, which is often used before a verb. Generally can also be used to say that most people have a particular opinion:

Women generally live longer than men.

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Newton is generally regarded as the father of modern science.

▪ generally speaking/as a rule other ways of saying ‘in general’:

Generally speaking, large breeds of dog are becoming less popular.

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He’s a singer who doesn’t do interviews, as a rule.

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The graduates are, generally speaking, a confident and articulate group of young people.

▪ mostly/mainly/largely used when saying that something is true about most people or things, or about most of something. Largely is slightly more formal than mostly or mainly :

The disease mainly affects women.

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Their attempts were largely unsuccessful.

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The students were mostly French and German, but there were a few Japanese students too.

▪ for the most part used when saying that something is true in most cases, but not in every case:

These problems have for the most part been resolved.

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For the most part, the gangs were made up of boys aged between 11 and 16.

▪ by and large/on the whole used for saying that something is true in most ways or in most cases:

The project was, by and large, a success.

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On the whole, people were very friendly.

II. general 2 BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ generalization , ↑ general , ↑ generalist , ↑ generality ; adjective : ↑ general , ↑ generalist , ↑ generalized ; verb : ↑ generalize ; adverb : ↑ generally ]

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Origin: general officer ]

[countable] an officer of very high rank in the army or air force

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.