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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (3)

1. a general officer of the highest rank;
[syn: general, full general]

2. the head of a religious order or congregation;
[syn: general, superior general]

3. a fact about the whole (as opposed to particular);
- Example: "he discussed the general but neglected the particular"


VERB (1)

1. command as a general;
- Example: "We are generaled by an incompetent!"


ADJECTIVE (6)

1. applying to all or most members of a category or group;
- Example: "the general public"
- Example: "general assistance"
- Example: "a general rule"
- Example: "in general terms"
- Example: "comprehensible to the general reader"

2. not specialized or limited to one class of things;
- Example: "general studies"
- Example: "general knowledge"

3. prevailing among and common to the general public;
- Example: "the general discontent"

4. affecting the entire body;
- Example: "a general anesthetic"
- Example: "general symptoms"

5. somewhat indefinite;
- Example: "bearing a general resemblance to the original"
- Example: "a general description of the merchandise"

6. of worldwide scope or applicability;
- Example: "an issue of cosmopolitan import"
- Example: "the shrewdest political and ecumenical comment of our time"- Christopher Morley
- Example: "universal experience"
[syn: cosmopolitan, ecumenical, oecumenical, general, universal, worldwide, world-wide]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

General \Gen"er*al\, a. [F. g['e]n['e]ral, fr. L. generalis. See Genus.] 1. Relating to a genus or kind; pertaining to a whole class or order; as, a general law of animal or vegetable economy. [1913 Webster] 2. Comprehending many species or individuals; not special or particular; including all particulars; as, a general inference or conclusion. [1913 Webster] 3. Not restrained or limited to a precise import; not specific; vague; indefinite; lax in signification; as, a loose and general expression. [1913 Webster] 4. Common to many, or the greatest number; widely spread; prevalent; extensive, though not universal; as, a general opinion; a general custom. [1913 Webster] This general applause and cheerful shout Argue your wisdom and your love to Richard. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 5. Having a relation to all; common to the whole; as, Adam, our general sire. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 6. As a whole; in gross; for the most part. [1913 Webster] His general behavior vain, ridiculous. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 7. Usual; common, on most occasions; as, his general habit or method. [1913 Webster] Note: 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. [1913 Webster] 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: Syn. General, Common, Universal. Usage: 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. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

General \Gen"er*al\, n. [F. g['e]n['e]ral. See General., a.] [1913 Webster] 1. The whole; the total; that which comprehends or relates to all, or the chief part; -- opposed to particular. [1913 Webster] In particulars our knowledge begins, and so spreads itself by degrees to generals. --Locke. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mil.) 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. [1913 Webster] Note: 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. [1913 Webster] 3. (Mil.) The roll of the drum which calls the troops together; as, to beat the general. [1913 Webster] 4. (Eccl.) The chief of an order of monks, or of all the houses or congregations under the same rule. [1913 Webster] 5. The public; the people; the vulgar. [Obs.] --Shak. [1913 Webster] In general, in the main; for the most part. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

general adj 1: applying to all or most members of a category or group; "the general public"; "general assistance"; "a general rule"; "in general terms"; "comprehensible to the general reader" [ant: specific] 2: not specialized or limited to one class of things; "general studies"; "general knowledge" 3: prevailing among and common to the general public; "the general discontent" 4: affecting the entire body; "a general anesthetic"; "general symptoms" [ant: local] 5: somewhat indefinite; "bearing a general resemblance to the original"; "a general description of the merchandise" 6: of worldwide scope or applicability; "an issue of cosmopolitan import"; "the shrewdest political and ecumenical comment of our time"- Christopher Morley; "universal experience" [syn: cosmopolitan, ecumenical, oecumenical, general, universal, worldwide, world- wide] n 1: a general officer of the highest rank [syn: general, full general] 2: the head of a religious order or congregation [syn: general, superior general] 3: a fact about the whole (as opposed to particular); "he discussed the general but neglected the particular" [ant: particular, specific] v 1: command as a general; "We are generaled by an incompetent!"
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

256 Moby Thesaurus words for "general": ADC, Babbittish, CO, OD, Philistine, abstract, accepted, accustomed, across the board, aide, aide-de-camp, aleatoric, aleatory, all-inclusive, amorphous, approximate, ascendant, associated, assorted, at the head, bland, blanket, blended, blobby, blurred, blurry, boss, bourgeois, brigadier, brigadier general, broad, campy, captain, casual, catholic, chance, chancy, chaotic, chicken colonel, chief, chief of staff, civic, civil, collective, collectivistic, colonel, combined, commandant, commander, commander in chief, commanding, commanding officer, commissioned officer, common, commonplace, communal, communistic, community, commutual, company officer, composite, comprehensive, confused, conjoint, controlling, cooperative, cosmopolitan, customary, disordered, diversified, dominant, encyclopedic, everyday, exec, executive officer, extended, extensive, familiar, featureless, field marshal, field officer, first lieutenant, five-star general, foggy, four-star general, fuzzy, general officer, generalissimo, generalized, generic, global, governing, habitual, hazy, head, hegemonic, hegemonistic, heterogeneous, high-camp, hit-or-miss, homely, homespun, humdrum, hybrid, ill-defined, imprecise, imprudent, in ascendancy, in charge, in chief, in common, in the ascendant, inaccurate, inchoate, inclusive, incoherent, indecisive, indefinable, indefinite, indeterminable, indeterminate, indiscreet, indiscriminate, indiscriminative, indistinct, inexact, insensitive, international, jemadar, joint, junior officer, kitschy, lax, leading, lieutenant, lieutenant colonel, lieutenant general, loose, low-camp, major, major general, marechal, marshal, master, miscellaneous, mixed, mongrel, mutual, national, natural, naturalistic, naturistic, nebulous, neutral, nonjudgmental, nonspecific, normal, obscure, officer, one-star general, orderless, orderly, orderly officer, ordinary, overall, panoramic, paramount, plebeian, pop, popular, predominant, predominate, prepollent, preponderant, preponderate, prepotent, prevailing, prevalent, promiscuous, public, random, realistic, reciprocal, regnant, regular, regulating, regulative, regulatory, reigning, risaldar, routine, ruling, run-of-the-mill, senior officer, shadowed forth, shadowy, shapeless, shared, shavetail, sirdar, social, socialistic, societal, sovereign, staff officer, state, stochastic, subahdar, subaltern, sublieutenant, supranational, supreme, sweeping, tactless, the Old Man, the brass, three-star general, top brass, two-star general, typical, uncharacterized, unclear, uncritical, uncriticizing, undefined, undemanding, undestined, undetermined, undifferentiated, undifferentiating, undiscreet, undiscriminating, undiscriminative, uneventful, unexacting, unexceptional, unfastidious, universal, unmeticulous, unparticular, unplain, unrestricted, unselective, unspecific, unspecified, unsubtle, untactful, usual, vague, veiled, vernacular, vulgar, wholesale, wide, widespread, worldwide
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

GENERAL. This word has several meanings, namely: 1. A principal officer, particularly in the army. 2. Something opposed to special; as, a general verdict, the general issue, which expressions are used in contradistinction to special verdict, special issue. 3. Principal, as the general post office. 4. Not select, as a general ship. (q. v.) 5. Not particular, as a general custom. 6. Not limited, as general jurisdiction. 7. This word is sometimes annexed or prefixed to other words to express or limit the extent of their signification; as Attorney General, Solicitor General, the General Assembly, &c.