Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[jen-er-uh-lahyz] /ˈdʒɛn ər əˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), generalized, generalizing.
to infer (a general principle, trend, etc.) from particular facts, statistics, or the like.
to infer or form (a general principle, opinion, conclusion, etc.) from only a few facts, examples, or the like.
to give a general rather than a specific or special character or form to.
to make general; bring into general use or knowledge.
verb (used without object), generalized, generalizing.
to form general principles, opinions, etc.
to deal, think, or speak in generalities.
to make general inferences.
Also, especially British, generalise.
Origin of generalize
First recorded in 1745-55; general + -ize
Related forms
generalizable, adjective
generalizer, noun
nongeneralized, adjective
ungeneralized, adjective
ungeneralizing, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for generalising
Historical Examples
  • Again she seldom said much about her people, or her earlier life, except in a vague and generalising sort of way.

  • He is not generalising; he is inferring a particular from particulars.

    A Logic Of Facts George Jacob Holyoake
  • generalising we must say this:There may be supposed to be extended physical objects to which the idea of motion cannot be applied.

    Sidelights on Relativity Albert Einstein
  • Now, people are so fond of generalising about colonists, and how wrong they are!

    A Modern Buccaneer Rolf Boldrewood
  • generalising on such a topic is hedged about with pitfalls, and the wary are disinclined to enter such debatable ground.

    France Gordon Cochrane Home
  • We do not waste our intellects in generalising, but take man or bird as we find him.

    Lilith George MacDonald
  • Beyond this, he was a man of superior mind, with strong comprehensive and generalising faculties.

  • In criticising decorated bindings there is a danger of falling into the common error of generalising from isolated instances.

    The Art of the Book Bernard H. Newdigate
  • The next substantial step is the generalising of commodity forms.

  • "Most women always are," said Henrietta, with conscientious evasiveness and generalising less hopefully than usual.

British Dictionary definitions for generalising


to form (general principles or conclusions) from (detailed facts, experience, etc); infer
(intransitive) to think or speak in generalities, esp in a prejudiced way
(transitive; usually passive) to cause to become widely used or known
(intransitive) (of a disease)
  1. to spread throughout the body
  2. to change from a localized infection or condition to a systemic one: generalized infection
Derived Forms
generalizer, generaliser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for generalising



1751, probably a new formation from general (adj.) + -ize. Middle English had generalisen (early 15c.). Related: Generalizable; generalized; generalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
generalising in Medicine

generalize gen·er·al·ize (jěn'ər-ə-līz')
v. gen·er·al·ized, gen·er·al·iz·ing, gen·er·al·iz·es

  1. To reduce to a general form, class, or law.

  2. To render indefinite or unspecific.

  3. To infer from many particulars.

  4. To draw inferences or a general conclusion from.

  5. To make generally or universally applicable.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for generalize

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for generalising

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for generalising