From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishgeneralgen‧e‧ral1 /ˈdʒenərəl/ ●●●S1W1 adjective [usually before noun]1not detailedDETAIL describing or relating to only the main features or parts of something, not the detailsa general introduction to computingI skimmed through it to get a general impression of the text.I have a general idea of what I want to express.He spoke in general terms about greater competitiveness.2 →in general3relating to wholeALL/EVERYTHING involving the whole of a situation, group, or thing, rather than specific parts of itThere has been a general decline in standards.ways to improve your general health4ordinaryORDINARYordinary or usualgeneral cooking and cleaningI hate paperwork as a general rule.5most peopleMOST shared by or affecting most people, or most of the people in a groupThese courses are based around topics of general interest.How soon can the drug be made available for general use?6not limited not limited to one use, activity, subject etcThe next ten minutes passed in general conversation.It’s a good general fertilizer.Watford General HospitalThis type of microphone is suitable for general use.7approximate used to talk about an approximate area or directionPat and his friend were in the general area of the crime when it happened.They started walking in the general direction of the pub.8jobBOIN CHARGE OF used in the name of a job to show that the person who does it has complete responsibilitythe general managerthe Attorney GeneralTHESAURUSin general used when saying that something is usually true in most situations, or about most people or thingsIn general, temporary jobs are less well-paid.In general, the bigger a company becomes, the harder it is to maintain customer satisfaction.generally another way of saying ‘in general’, which is often used before a verb. Generally can also be used to say that most people have a particular opinionWomen generally live longer than men.Newton is generally regarded as the father of modern science.generally speaking/as a rule other ways of saying ‘in general’Generally speaking, large breeds of dog are becoming less popular.He’s a singer who doesn’t do interviews, as a rule.The graduates are, generally speaking, a confident and articulate group of young people. mostly/mainly/largely used when saying that something is true about most people or things, or about most of something. Largely is slightly more formal than mostly or mainlyThe disease mainly affects women.Their attempts were largely unsuccessful.The students were mostly French and German, but there were a few Japanese students too.for the most part used when saying that something is true in most cases, but not in every caseThese problems have for the most part been resolved.For the most part, the gangs were made up of boys aged between 11 and 16.by and large/on the whole used for saying that something is true in most ways or in most casesThe project was, by and large, a success.On the whole, people were very friendly.
generalgeneral2 nounPMAPMP[countable] an officer of very high rank in the army or air force
Examples from the Corpus
general• His edge was none too great for a general who planned to attack a heavily fortified position.• I was a general at the head of an army, and the objectives were clearly defined.• The Democraticattorneygeneral of Tennessee told Shipley to do what he thought right, and Shipley had gotten his notes together.• He simply notified the attorney general of a threat to the public peace and asked him to enforcefederal law.• In general, Forbes opposes any law that raises the cost of doing business.• The truth may be that Pyongyang's generals were unwilling to deliver the goods to the Pentagon's generals.• This does not mean he can get Colin Powell; the general seems to have ruled himself out of the running.• But as it was, when the generalsentered they had it all their own presumptuous way.Origingeneral1(1100-1200)FrenchLatingeneralis“of the whole type”, from genus; → GENUSgeneral2(1500-1600)general officer