Meaning of GENERAL in English
/ ˈdʒenrəl; NAmE / adjective , noun
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) .
[ 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) .
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
the ~ direction / area approximately, but not exactly, the direction / area mentioned :
They fired in the general direction of the enemy.
not limited to a particular subject, use or activity :
a general hospital
We shall at this stage keep the discussion fairly general.
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
[ 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
- in general
( 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
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. 2005