- U.S. Army and Air Force. an officer ranking above a lieutenant general and below a general of the army or general of the air force.
- U.S. Army. an officer of any of the five highest ranks: a brigadier general, major general, lieutenant general, general, or general of the army.
- U.S. Marine Corps. an officer holding the highest rank in the corps.
- (in numerous armies) an officer in the highest, second, or third highest rank, as one ranking immediately below a field marshal in the British army.
OTHER WORDS FOR general
Idioms about general
- with respect to the whole class referred to; as a whole: He likes people in general.
- as a rule; usually: In general, the bus is here by 9 a.m.
Origin of general
synonym study for general
historical usage of general
The military sense of general (noun) dates from the mid-16th century; general officer and general of the army date from the mid-17th century. The heads of some Roman Catholic religious orders are called generals, a usage that began in the 16th century and applied originally to the Jesuits but now applies to the Franciscans and Dominicans as well; the usage was extended in the 19th century to the head of the Salvation Army.
The phrase in general originally meant “in a body, collectively” (a sense that is now obsolete), with a clear relation to the sense of the adjective general “with respect to a whole class, group, or category.” It later developed further to mean “usually,” which can be interpreted as meaning “as a general rule (rather than a specific instance).”
OTHER WORDS FROM generalgen·er·al·ness, nounpseu·do·gen·er·al, adjectiveun·der·gen·er·al, noun
Words nearby general
MORE ABOUT GENERAL
What does general mean?
General describes all people or things belonging to a group. A general election, for example, is an election that is held on a regular schedule.
General can also describe all people or things with possible exceptions. When we describe a word as being used in general, we mean that it’s mostly used that way but there might be a few exceptions to it.
General also describes something that is not specific or definite, as in While Nat doesn’t have all the details about the party yet, they have a general idea what it’s going to be like.
In the military a general is a high-ranking officer, although each branch of the military ranks officers a little differently. In the U.S. Army, a general is an officer of the five highest ranks—brigadier general, major general, lieutenant general, general, or general of the army, all of which have their own authorities and responsibilities. In the U.S. Marine Corps, a general is the highest-ranking officer in the entire corps.
Example: The general consensus is that the movie was pretty terrible.
Where does general come from?
The first records of the term general come from the late 1200s. It comes from the Latin generālis, meaning “of a particular kind.” Something that is general is supposed to relate to all people or things of a certain kind.
Perhaps the largest group general is applied to is the general public, a term that describes all people in a society. When someone wants to appeal to the general public, they want to create a message that will be acceptable and favorable to the largest number of people possible.
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What are some other forms related to general?
- generally (adverb)
- generalness (noun)
- generalize (verb)
- undergeneral (noun)
What are some synonyms for general?
What are some words that share a root or word element with general?
What are some words that often get used in discussing general?
How is general used in real life?
General is most often used to describe something broad or not specific.
Kanye’s Twitter feed and the general response to it is proof that there remain many issues on how we talk about or engage people with mental illness.
— Alexander Quon (@AlexanderQuon) July 21, 2020
I like the general idea of being on the beach much more than actually being on the beach
— FK. (@fkabudu) December 13, 2020
BREAKING: Federal judge says U.S. attorney general cannot withhold grant money from cities over so-called sanctuary cities status.
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 15, 2017
Try using general!
Is general used correctly in the following sentence?
When Tomica cooks, she follows general principles rather than specific instructions.
How to use general in a sentence
The USPS lawyer told the court Thursday that the agency’s warning was not unusual and that a similar warning was issued before the 2016 general election.Federal judge issues temporary injunction against USPS operational changes amid concerns about mail slowdowns|Elise Viebeck, Jacob Bogage|September 17, 2020|Washington Post
In general, this is reviewing that wants to create a sport from it, that wants people to participate without knowing how to win.Christian Puglisi Is Closing His Influential Copenhagen Restaurants. COVID Is Only Partly to Blame|Rafael Tonon|September 17, 2020|Eater
The attorney general parroting the president’s false assertions about the reliability of mail-in voting.William Barr is the poster child for politicized law enforcement officials|Philip Bump|September 17, 2020|Washington Post
Fewer have taken action for the general election, as the move has become increasingly partisan and subject to litigation.Vote by mail: Which states allow absentee voting|Kate Rabinowitz, Brittany Mayes|September 17, 2020|Washington Post
The report says the data also show that LGBTQ people are 20 percent more likely than the general population to have experienced a reduction in work hours during the reopening period.HRC examines hospital policies, impact of COVID on LGBTQ people|Lou Chibbaro Jr.|September 16, 2020|Washington Blade
“They are hypocritical on this very issue,” Shearer said about Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and other public officials.Harry Shearer on The Dangerous Business of Satire|Lloyd Grove|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
It also contains some clunky passages of adultery, temptations of the flesh, and general sexual awkwardness.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’|Asawin Suebsaeng|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Closed courthouses, rogue clerks, and misleading statements from the attorney general as Florida welcomes same-sex marriage.The Back Alley, Low Blow-Ridden Fight to Stop Gay Marriage in Florida Is Finally Over|Jay Michaelson|January 5, 2015|DAILY BEAST
“We would just as soon stay away from a group that will create controversy,” the Cubs general manager Sam Bernabe told the paper.The Louisiana Racists Who Courted Steve Scalise|Jason Berry|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Your general reaction runs along the lines of: “When will these geezers give it up and go for a mall walk or something?”The World’s Toughest Political Quiz|Jeff Greenfield|December 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A Yankee, whose face had been mauled in a pot-house brawl, assured General Jackson that he had received his scars in battle.
In the year of misery, of agony and suffering in general he had endured, he had settled upon one theory.The Homesteader|Oscar Micheaux
To others the fierce desire for social justice obliterates all fear of a general catastrophe.The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice|Stephen Leacock
Finally, let me ask the general reader to put aside all prejudice, and give both sides a fair hearing.God and my Neighbour|Robert Blatchford
General Lachambre, as the hero of Cavite, followed to receive the applause which was everywhere showered upon him in Spain.The Philippine Islands|John Foreman
British Dictionary definitions for general
Derived forms of generalgeneralness, noun
Word Origin for general
Other Idioms and Phrases with general
see in general; on (general) principle.