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  1. usually; commonly; ordinarily: He generally comes home at noon.
  2. with respect to the larger part; for the most part: a generally accurate interpretation of the facts.
  3. without reference to or disregarding particular persons, things, situations, etc., that may be an exception: generally speaking.

Origin of generally

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at general, -ly


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1. See often.


1. seldom.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for generally

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The lower classes of tradesmen were generally placed near the gates.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • It was generally considered impromptu, but was, in truth, as stereotyped as the other.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • To others beyond he was not known and was not generally popular.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Fortunately the corn was not generally housed, and much of that was saved.

  • It was generally in the morning she went, because then she was almost sure to find them alone.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for generally


  1. usually; as a rule
  2. commonly or widely
  3. without reference to specific details or facts; broadly
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

Word Origin and History for generally


"including everyone; in a general way, without reference to particulars," mid-14c., from general (adj.) + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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