adjective Also ge·ner·i·cal.

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.


Origin of generic

1670–80; < Latin gener- (see gender1) + -ic
Related formsge·ner·i·cal·ly, adverbge·ner·i·cal·ness, nounnon·ge·ner·ic, adjectivenon·ge·ner·i·cal, adjectivenon·ge·ner·i·cal·ly, adverbpseu·do·ge·ner·ic, adjectivepseu·do·ge·ner·i·cal, adjectivepseu·do·ge·ner·i·cal·ly, adverbsu·per·ge·ner·ic, adjectivesu·per·ge·ner·i·cal·ly, adverbun·ge·ner·ic, adjectiveun·ge·ner·i·cal, adjectiveun·ge·ner·i·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for generic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for generically

Contemporary Examples of generically

Historical Examples of generically

  • But while fiction is specifically the most transient of forms, generically it is the most permanent.

    Days Off

    Henry Van Dyke

  • These results are embodied in what may be called, generically, tradition.

  • They were generically spoken of at times as the criminal classes.

    John Marvel, Assistant

    Thomas Nelson Page

  • They talked pleasantly of the enemy whom they spoke of generically as "Fritz."

    The Soul of Susan Yellam

    Horace Annesley Vachell

  • One of the great products of Massachusetts has been what is generically known as "footwear."

    'Tis Sixty Years Since

    Charles Francis Adams

British Dictionary definitions for generically




applicable or referring to a whole class or group; general
biology of, relating to, or belonging to a genusthe generic name
denoting the nonproprietary name of a drug, food product, etc


a drug, food product, etc that does not have a trademark
Derived Formsgenerically, adverb

Word Origin for generic

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

Word Origin and History for generically



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

generically in Medicine




Of or relating to a genus.
Relating to or descriptive of an entire group or class; general.
Of or relating to a drug sold under or identified by its official nonproprietary or chemical name.


A drug sold under its generic name.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.