Meaning of GENERAL in English

GENERAL

/ ˈdʒenrəl; NAmE / adjective , noun

■ adjective

AFFECTING ALL

1.

affecting all or most people, places or things :

The general opinion is that the conference was a success.

the general belief / consensus

books of general interest (= of interest to most people)

The bad weather has been fairly general (= has affected most areas) .

USUAL

2.

[ usually before noun ] normal; usual :

There is one exception to this general principle.

As a general rule (= usually) he did what he could to be helpful.

This opinion is common among the general population (= ordinary people) .

NOT DETAILED

3.

including the most important aspects of sth; not exact or detailed

SYN overall :

I check the bookings to get a general idea of what activities to plan.

I know how it works in general terms .

They gave a general description of the man.

DIRECTION / AREA

4.

the ~ direction / area approximately, but not exactly, the direction / area mentioned :

They fired in the general direction of the enemy.

NOT LIMITED

5.

not limited to a particular subject, use or activity :

a general hospital

general education

We shall at this stage keep the discussion fairly general.

6.

not limited to one part or aspect of a person or thing :

a general anaesthetic

The building was in a general state of disrepair.

HIGHEST IN RANK

7.

[ only before noun ] (also General [ after noun ]) highest in rank; chief :

the general manager

the Inspector General of Police

—see also Attorney General , director general , Governor General , Secretary General , Solicitor General , Surgeon General

IDIOMS

- in general

■ noun

( abbr. Gen. ) an officer of very high rank in the army and the US air force ; the officer with the highest rank in the marines :

a four-star general

General Tom Parker

—see also brigadier general , major general

••

WORD ORIGIN

Middle English : via Old French from Latin generalis , from genus , gener- class, race, kind. The noun primarily denotes a person having overall authority: the sense army commander is an abbreviation of captain general , from French capitaine général commander-in-chief.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.