WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
gen•er•al /ˈdʒɛnərəl/USA pronunciation adj.  of, relating to, or affecting all persons or things belonging to a group, category, or system:called a general meeting of union members. [before a noun] of, relating to, or true of most persons or things:the general mood of the people. [before a noun] not limited to type; miscellaneous:the general public. considering or dealing with broad, universal, or important aspects:issued general guidelines. Medicineaffecting the entire body:general paralysis. having extended command or superior or chief rank: [before a noun]a general manager.[after a noun]the secretary general of the U.N.
n. [countable] Militaryan army, air force, or Marine Corps officer of high rank. idiom
    in general: 
    • with respect to the entirety; as a whole;
      for the most part:He likes people in general.
    • as a rule;
      usually:In general, the bus is on time.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

general /ˈdʒɛnərəl; ˈdʒɛnrəl/ adj
  1. common; widespread
  2. of, including, applying to, or participated in by all or most of the members of a group, category, or community
  3. relating to various branches of an activity, profession, etc; not specialized: general office work
  4. including various or miscellaneous items: general knowledge, a general store
  5. not specific as to detail; overall: a general description of the merchandise
  6. not definite; vague: give me a general idea of when you will finish
  7. applicable or true in most cases; usual
  8. (prenominal or immediately postpositive) having superior or extended authority or rank: general manager, consul general
  1. an officer of a rank senior to lieutenant general, esp one who commands a large military formation
  2. any person acting as a leader and applying strategy or tactics
  3. a general condition or principle: opposed to particular
  4. a title for the head of a religious order, congregation, etc
  5. archaic the people; public
  6. in generalgenerally; mostly or usually
Etymology: 13th Century: from Latin generālis of a particular kind, from genus kind

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