American English

Definition of general adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//ˈdʒɛnrəl//
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    affecting all
  1. 1affecting all or most people, places, or things The general opinion is that the conference was a success. the general belief/consensus books of general interest (= of interest to most people)
  2. usual
  3. 2[usually before noun] normal; usual There is one exception to this general principle. As a general rule (= usually) he did what he could to be helpful. This opinion is common among the general population (= ordinary people).
  4. not detailed
  5. 3including the most important aspects of something; not exact or detailed synonym overall I checked the weather forecast to get a general idea of what activities to plan. I know how it works in general terms. They gave a general description of the man.
  6. direction/area
  7. 4the general direction/area approximately, but not exactly, the direction/area mentioned They fired in the general direction of the enemy.
  8. not limited
  9. 5not limited to a particular subject, use, or activity a general hospital general education We will at this stage keep the discussion fairly general.
  10. 6not limited to one part or aspect of a person or thing a general anesthetic The building was in a general state of disrepair. compare local
  11. highest in rank
  12. 7[only before noun] General [after noun] highest in rank; chief the general manager the Inspector General see also attorney general, Governor General, Secretary General, Solicitor General, Surgeon General
  13. Idioms
    1. 1usually; mainly In general, Japanese cars are very reliable and breakdowns are rare. Language Bankconclusionsumming up an argument In conclusion, the study has provided useful insights into the issues relating to people's perception of crime. Based on this study, it can be concluded that the introduction of new street lighting did not reduce reported crime. To sum up, no evidence can be found to support the view that improved street lighting reduces reported crime. The available evidence clearly leads to the conclusion that the media do have an influence on the public perception of crime. The main conclusion to be drawn from this study is that the public perception of crime is significantly influenced by crime news reporting. This study has shown that people's fear of crime is out of all proportion to crime itself. Fear of crime is out of all proportion to the actual level of crime, and the reasons for this can be summarized as follows. First… Overall/In general, women are more likely than men to feel insecure walking alone after dark. Language Bankgenerallyways of saying “in general” Women generally earn less than men. Generally speaking, jobs traditionally done by women are paid at a lower rate than those traditionally done by men. In general/By and large, women do not earn as much as men. Certain jobs, like nursing and cleaning, are still mainly carried out by women. Senior management posts are held predominantly by men. Most senior management posts tend to be held by men. Women are, for the most part, still paid less than men. Economic and social factors are, to a large extent, responsible for women being concentrated in low-paid jobs.
    2. 2as a whole This is a crucial year for your relationships in general and your love life in particular.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: general