I UK [ˈdʒen(ə)rəl] / US adjective ***
1) not specific, exact, or detailed

Could you just give us a general description of the work you do?

Her predictions are so general that they could apply to anybody.

in general terms:

We are prepared to discuss the deal in general terms, but the details are confidential.

general idea:

I'm probably not making myself very clear, but you get the general idea.

Nouns frequently used with general
▪  account, conclusion, description, information, principle, rule, statement
2) true for most people, things, or situations, or affecting most of them

There was general agreement at the meeting that the plan was too expensive.

The fighting could escalate into a more general war.

Family planning has now become general throughout society.

It's in the general interest that we should have a well-run health service.

as a general rule:

As a general rule, shorter sentences are easier to understand.

3) [only before noun] used for describing the whole of something, without considering the details

I get the general impression that they aren't very happy.

He has this general attitude of superiority toward his colleagues.

Your general physical condition seems remarkably good.

4) dealing with all areas of a subject or activity, rather than concentrating on a particular area

a good general introduction to linguistics

the general reader/viewer (= someone who is not an expert):

science programmes that are accessible to the general viewer

general contractor/insurer/labourer (= someone who deals with all types of work):

The building and plumbing work will be done by a general contractor.

5) used, especially in job titles, for saying that someone is responsible for the whole of something
general manager/secretary:

Peter Klimt is the new European general manager.


the general direction/area/location of something — an area near or towards something, though perhaps not at that exact place

We were heading in the general direction of the sea.

II UK [ˈdʒen(ə)rəl] / US noun [countable]
Word forms "general":
singular general plural generals
an officer of high rank in the army or air force

English dictionary. 2014.

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