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[juh-ner-ik] /dʒəˈnɛr ɪk/
adjective, Also, generical
of, applicable to, or referring to all the members of a genus, class, group, or kind; general.
of, relating to, or noting a genus, especially in biology.
(of a word) applicable or referring to both men and women:
a generic pronoun.
not protected by trademark registration:
“Cola” and “shuttle” are generic terms.
a generic term.
any product, as a type of food, drug, or cosmetic commonly marketed under a brand name, that is sold in a package without a brand.
a wine made from two or more varieties of grapes, with no one grape constituting more than half the product (distinguished from varietal).
Origin of generic
1670-80; < Latin gener- (see gender1) + -ic
Related forms
generically, adverb
genericalness, noun
nongeneric, adjective
nongenerical, adjective
nongenerically, adverb
pseudogeneric, adjective
pseudogenerical, adjective
pseudogenerically, adverb
supergeneric, adjective
supergenerically, adverb
ungeneric, adjective
ungenerical, adjective
ungenerically, adverb
4. general, nonproprietary, unrestricted. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for generic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That name has since been applied in a generic sense to all similar ice bodies lying on the backs of "wedges."

    Mount Rainier Various
  • There is no reason whatever for this inundation of generic names.

    Bruin Mayne Reid
  • Its generic title, Scotiaptex, is from two Greek words, one meaning darkness and the other to frighten.

  • In the fishery, they usually go by the generic name of Gay-Headers.

    Moby Dick; or The Whale Herman Melville
  • Work is the generic term for any continuous application of energy toward an end; work may be hard or easy.

    English Synonyms and Antonyms James Champlin Fernald
British Dictionary definitions for generic


applicable or referring to a whole class or group; general
(biology) of, relating to, or belonging to a genus: the generic name
denoting the nonproprietary name of a drug, food product, etc
a drug, food product, etc that does not have a trademark
Derived Forms
generically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from French; see genus
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
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Word Origin and History for generic

1670s, "belonging to a large group of objects," formed in English from Latin gener-, stem of genus "kind" (see genus) + -ic. Sense of "not special, not brand-name; in plain, cheap packaging," of groceries, etc., is from 1977.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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generic in Medicine

generic ge·ner·ic (jə-něr'ĭk)

  1. Of or relating to a genus.

  2. Relating to or descriptive of an entire group or class; general.

  3. Not having a trademark or brand name.

A drug sold without a brand name or trademark.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for generic



Inferior; cheesy, grotty: Larry King doesn't appear to be generic: he has a distinctive voice, and he doesn't look like anybody else (1980s+ Students)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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