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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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general

GEN'ERAL, a. [L. generalis, from genus, a kind.]

1. Properly, relating to a whole genus or kind; and hence, relating to a whole class or order. Thus we speak of a general law of the animal or vegetable economy. This word, though from genus, kind, is used to express whatever is common to an order, class, kind, sort or species, or to any company or association of individuals.

2. Comprehending many species or individuals; not special or particular; as, it is not logical to draw a general inference or conclusion from a particular fact.

3. Lax in signification; not restrained or limited to a particular import; not specific; as a loose and general expression.

4. Public; common; relating to or comprehending the whole community; as the general interest or safety of a nation.

5. Common to many or the greatest number; as a general opinion; a general custom.

6. Not directed to a single object.

If the same thing be peculiarly evil, that general aversion will be turned into a particular hatred against it.

7. Having a relation to all; common to the whole. Adam, our general sire.

8. Extensive, though not universal; common; usual.

This word is prefixed or annexed to words, to express the extent of their application. Thus a general assembly is an assembly of a whole body, in fact or by representation. In Scotland, it is the whole church convened by its representatives. In America, a legislature is sometimes called a general assembly.

In logic, a general term is a term which is the sign of a general idea.

An attorney general, and a solicitor general, is an officer who conducts suits and prosecutions for the king or for a nation or state, and whose authority is general in the state or kingdom.

A vicar general has authority as vicar or substitute over a whole territory or jurisdiction.

An adjutant general assists the general of an army, distributes orders, receives returns, &c.

The word general thus annexed to a name of office, denotes chief or superior; as a commissary general, quarter-master general.

In the line, a general officer is one who commands an army, a division or a brigade.

GEN'ERAL, n. The whole; the total; that which comprehends all or the chief part; opposed to particular.

In particulars our knowledge begins, and so spreads itself by degrees to generals.

A history painter paints man in general.

1. In general, in the main; for the most part; not always or universally.

I have shown that he excels, in general,under each of these heads.

2. The chief commander of an army. But to distinguish this officer from other generals, he is often called general in chief. The officer second in rank is called lieutenant general.

3. The commander of a division of an army or militia, usually called a major general.

4. The commander of a brigade, called a brigadier general.

5. A particular beat of drum or march, being that which, in the morning, gives notice for the infantry to be in readiness to march.

6. The chief of an order of monks, or of all the houses or congregations established under the same rule.

7. The public; the interest of the whole; the vulgar. [Not in use.]



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [general]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

GEN'ERAL, a. [L. generalis, from genus, a kind.]

1. Properly, relating to a whole genus or kind; and hence, relating to a whole class or order. Thus we speak of a general law of the animal or vegetable economy. This word, though from genus, kind, is used to express whatever is common to an order, class, kind, sort or species, or to any company or association of individuals.

2. Comprehending many species or individuals; not special or particular; as, it is not logical to draw a general inference or conclusion from a particular fact.

3. Lax in signification; not restrained or limited to a particular import; not specific; as a loose and general expression.

4. Public; common; relating to or comprehending the whole community; as the general interest or safety of a nation.

5. Common to many or the greatest number; as a general opinion; a general custom.

6. Not directed to a single object.

If the same thing be peculiarly evil, that general aversion will be turned into a particular hatred against it.

7. Having a relation to all; common to the whole. Adam, our general sire.

8. Extensive, though not universal; common; usual.

This word is prefixed or annexed to words, to express the extent of their application. Thus a general assembly is an assembly of a whole body, in fact or by representation. In Scotland, it is the whole church convened by its representatives. In America, a legislature is sometimes called a general assembly.

In logic, a general term is a term which is the sign of a general idea.

An attorney general, and a solicitor general, is an officer who conducts suits and prosecutions for the king or for a nation or state, and whose authority is general in the state or kingdom.

A vicar general has authority as vicar or substitute over a whole territory or jurisdiction.

An adjutant general assists the general of an army, distributes orders, receives returns, &c.

The word general thus annexed to a name of office, denotes chief or superior; as a commissary general, quarter-master general.

In the line, a general officer is one who commands an army, a division or a brigade.

GEN'ERAL, n. The whole; the total; that which comprehends all or the chief part; opposed to particular.

In particulars our knowledge begins, and so spreads itself by degrees to generals.

A history painter paints man in general.

1. In general, in the main; for the most part; not always or universally.

I have shown that he excels, in general,under each of these heads.

2. The chief commander of an army. But to distinguish this officer from other generals, he is often called general in chief. The officer second in rank is called lieutenant general.

3. The commander of a division of an army or militia, usually called a major general.

4. The commander of a brigade, called a brigadier general.

5. A particular beat of drum or march, being that which, in the morning, gives notice for the infantry to be in readiness to march.

6. The chief of an order of monks, or of all the houses or congregations established under the same rule.

7. The public; the interest of the whole; the vulgar. [Not in use.]

GEN'ER-AL, a. [Fr. from L. generalis, from genus, a kind.]

  1. Properly, relating to a whole genus or kind; and hence, relating to a whole class or order. Thus we speak of a general law of the animal or vegetable economy. This word, though from genus, kind, is used to express whatever is common to an order, class, kind, sort or species, or to any company or association of individuals.
  2. Comprehending many species or individuals; not special or particular; as, it is not logical to draw a general inference or conclusion from a particular fact.
  3. Lax in signification; not restrained or limited to a particular import; not specific; as, a loose and general expression.
  4. Public; common; relating to or comprehending the whole community; as, the general interest or safety of a nation. To all general purposes, we have uniformly been one people. – Federalist, Jay.
  5. Common to many or the greatest number; as, a general opinion; a general custom.
  6. Not directed to a single object. If the same thing be peculiarly evil, that general aversion will be turned into a particular hatred against it. – Spratt.
  7. Having a relation to all; common to the, whole. Adam, our general sire. – Milton.
  8. Extensive, though not universal; common; usual. This word is prefixed or annexed to words, to express the extent of their application. Thus a general assembly is an assembly of a whole body, in fact or by representation. In Scotland, it is the whole church convened by its representatives. In America, a legislature is sometimes called a general assembly. In logic, a general term is a term which is the sign of a general idea. An attorney general, and a solicitor general, is an officer who conducts suite and prosecutions for the king or for a nation or state, and whose authority is general in the state or kingdom. A vicar general has authority as vicar or substitute over a whole territory or jurisdiction. An adjutant general assists the general of an army, distributes orders, receives returns, &c. The word general thus annexed to a name of office, denotes chief or superior; as, a commissary general, quarter-master general. In the line, a general officer is one who commands an army a division or a brigade.

GEN'ER-AL, n.

  1. The whole; the total; that which comprehends all or the chief part; opposed to particular. In particulars our knowledge begins, and so spreads itself by degrees to generals. Locke. A history painter paints man in general. Reynolds.
  2. In general, in the main; for the most part; not always or universally. I have shown that he excels, in general, under each of these heads. Addison.
  3. The chief commander of an army. But to distinguish this officer from other generals, he is often called general in chief. The officer second in rank is called lieutenant general.
  4. The commander of a division of an army or militia, usually called a major general.
  5. The commander of a brigade, called a brigadier general.
  6. A particular beat of drum or march, being that which, in the morning, gives notice for the infantry to be in readiness to march. Encyc.
  7. The chief of an order of monks, or of all the houses or congregations established under the same rule. Encyc.
  8. The public; the interest of the whole; the vulgar. [Not in use.] Shak.

Gen"er*al
  1. Relating to a genus or kind; pertaining to a whole class or order; as, a general law of animal or vegetable economy.
  2. The whole; the total; that which comprehends or relates to all, or the chief part; -- opposed to particular.

    In particulars our knowledge begins, and so spreads itself by degrees to generals. Locke.

  3. Comprehending many species or individuals; not special or particular; including all particulars; as, a general inference or conclusion.
  4. One of the chief military officers of a government or country; the commander of an army, of a body of men not less than a brigade. In European armies, the highest military rank next below field marshal.

    * In the United States the office of General of the Army has been created by temporary laws, and has been held only by Generals U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, and P. H. Sheridan. Popularly, the title General is given to various general officers, as General, Lieutenant general, Major general, Brigadier general, Commissary general, etc. See Brigadier general, Lieutenant general, Major general, in the Vocabulary.

  5. Not restrained or limited to a precise import; not specific; vague; indefinite; lax in signification; as, a loose and general expression.
  6. The roll of the drum which calls the troops together; as, to beat the general.
  7. Common to many, or the greatest number; widely spread; prevalent; extensive, though not universal; as, a general opinion; a general custom.

    This general applause and cheerful shout
    Argue your wisdom and your love to Richard.
    Shak.

  8. The chief of an order of monks, or of all the houses or congregations under the same rule.
  9. Having a relation to all; common to the whole; as, Adam, our general sire.

    Milton.
  10. The public; the people; the vulgar.

    [Obs.] Shak.

    In general, in the main; for the most part.

  11. As a whole; in gross; for the most part.

    His general behavior vain, ridiculous. Shak.

  12. Usual; common, on most occasions; as, his general habit or method.

    * The word general, annexed to a name of office, usually denotes chief or superior; as, attorney- general; adjutant general; commissary general; quartermaster general; vicar-general, etc.

    General agent (Law), an agent whom a principal employs to transact all his business of a particular kind, or to act in his affairs generally. -- General assembly. See the Note under Assembly. -- General average, General Court. See under Average, Court. -- General court-martial (Mil.), the highest military and naval judicial tribunal. -- General dealer (Com.), a shopkeeper who deals in all articles in common use. -- General demurrer (Law), a demurrer which objects to a pleading in general terms, as insufficient, without specifying the defects. Abbott. -- General epistle, a canonical epistle. -- General guides (Mil.), two sergeants (called the right, and the left, general guide) posted opposite the right and left flanks of an infantry battalion, to preserve accuracy in marching. Farrow. -- General hospitals (Mil.), hospitals established to receive sick and wounded sent from the field hospitals. Farrow. General issue (Law), an issue made by a general plea, which traverses the whole declaration or indictment at once, without offering any special matter to evade it. Bouvier. Burrill. -- General lien (Law), a right to detain a chattel, etc., until payment is made of any balance due on a general account. -- General officer (Mil.), any officer having a rank above that of colonel. -- General orders (Mil.), orders from headquarters published to the whole command. -- General practitioner, in the United States, one who practices medicine in all its branches without confining himself to any specialty; in England, one who practices both as physician and as surgeon. -- General ship, a ship not chartered or let to particular parties. -- General term (Logic), a term which is the sign of a general conception or notion. -- General verdict (Law), the ordinary comprehensive verdict in civil actions, "for the plaintiff" or "for the defendant". Burrill. -- General warrant (Law), a warrant, now illegal, to apprehend suspected persons, without naming individuals.

    Syn. General, Common, Universal. Common denotes primarily that in which many share; and hence, that which is often met with. General is stronger, denoting that which pertains to a majority of the individuals which compose a genus, or whole. Universal, that which pertains to all without exception. To be able to read and write is so common an attainment in the United States, that we may pronounce it general, though by no means universal.

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General

GEN'ERAL, adjective [Latin generalis, from genus, a kind.]

1. Properly, relating to a whole genus or kind; and hence, relating to a whole class or order. Thus we speak of a general law of the animal or vegetable economy. This word, though from genus, kind, is used to express whatever is common to an order, class, kind, sort or species, or to any company or association of individuals.

2. Comprehending many species or individuals; not special or particular; as, it is not logical to draw a general inference or conclusion from a particular fact.

3. Lax in signification; not restrained or limited to a particular import; not specific; as a loose and general expression.

4. Public; common; relating to or comprehending the whole community; as the general interest or safety of a nation.

5. Common to many or the greatest number; as a general opinion; a general custom.

6. Not directed to a single object.

If the same thing be peculiarly evil, that general aversion will be turned into a particular hatred against it.

7. Having a relation to all; common to the whole. Adam, our general sire.

8. Extensive, though not universal; common; usual.

This word is prefixed or annexed to words, to express the extent of their application. Thus a general assembly is an assembly of a whole body, in fact or by representation. In Scotland, it is the whole church convened by its representatives. In America, a legislature is sometimes called a general assembly.

In logic, a general term is a term which is the sign of a general idea.

An attorney general and a solicitor general is an officer who conducts suits and prosecutions for the king or for a nation or state, and whose authority is general in the state or kingdom.

A vicar general has authority as vicar or substitute over a whole territory or jurisdiction.

An adjutant general assists the general of an army, distributes orders, receives returns, etc.

The word general thus annexed to a name of office, denotes chief or superior; as a commissary general quarter-master general

In the line, a general officer is one who commands an army, a division or a brigade.

GEN'ERAL, noun The whole; the total; that which comprehends all or the chief part; opposed to particular.

In particulars our knowledge begins, and so spreads itself by degrees to generals.

A history painter paints man in general

1. In general in the main; for the most part; not always or universally.

I have shown that he excels, in general under each of these heads.

2. The chief commander of an army. But to distinguish this officer from other generals, he is often called general in chief. The officer second in rank is called lieutenant general

3. The commander of a division of an army or militia, usually called a major general

4. The commander of a brigade, called a brigadier general

5. A particular beat of drum or march, being that which, in the morning, gives notice for the infantry to be in readiness to march.

6. The chief of an order of monks, or of all the houses or congregations established under the same rule.

7. The public; the interest of the whole; the vulgar. [Not in use.]

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