The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
General \Gen"er*al\, a. [F. g['e]n['e]ral, fr. L. generalis. See
1. Relating to a genus or kind; pertaining to a whole class
or order; as, a general law of animal or vegetable
2. Comprehending many species or individuals; not special or
particular; including all particulars; as, a general
inference or conclusion.
3. Not restrained or limited to a precise import; not
specific; vague; indefinite; lax in signification; as, a
loose and general expression.
4. 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.
5. Having a relation to all; common to the whole; as, Adam,
our general sire. --Milton.
6. As a whole; in gross; for the most part.
His general behavior vain, ridiculous. --Shak.
7. Usual; common, on most occasions; as, his general habit or
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.
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,
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.
General lien (Law), a right to detain a chattel, etc.,
until payment is made of any balance due on a general
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
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
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.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Order \Or"der\, n. [OE. ordre, F. ordre, fr. L. ordo, ordinis.
Cf. Ordain, Ordinal.]
1. Regular arrangement; any methodical or established
succession or harmonious relation; method; system; as:
(a) Of material things, like the books in a library.
(b) Of intellectual notions or ideas, like the topics of a
(c) Of periods of time or occurrences, and the like.
The side chambers were . . . thirty in order.
Bright-harnessed angels sit in order
Good order is the foundation of all good things.
2. Right arrangement; a normal, correct, or fit condition;
as, the house is in order; the machinery is out of order.
3. The customary mode of procedure; established system, as in
the conduct of debates or the transaction of business;
usage; custom; fashion. --Dantiel.
And, pregnant with his grander thought,
Brought the old order into doubt. --Emerson.
4. Conformity with law or decorum; freedom from disturbance;
general tranquillity; public quiet; as, to preserve order
in a community or an assembly.
5. That which prescribes a method of procedure; a rule or
regulation made by competent authority; as, the rules and
orders of the senate.
The church hath authority to establish that for an
order at one time which at another time it may
6. A command; a mandate; a precept; a direction.
Upon this new fright, an order was made by both
houses for disarming all the papists in England.
7. Hence: A commission to purchase, sell, or supply goods; a
direction, in writing, to pay money, to furnish supplies,
to admit to a building, a place of entertainment, or the
like; as, orders for blankets are large.
In those days were pit orders -- beshrew the
uncomfortable manager who abolished them. --Lamb.
8. A number of things or persons arranged in a fixed or
suitable place, or relative position; a rank; a row; a
grade; especially, a rank or class in society; a group or
division of men in the same social or other position;
also, a distinct character, kind, or sort; as, the higher
or lower orders of society; talent of a high order.
They are in equal order to their several ends.
Various orders various ensigns bear. --Granville.
Which, to his order of mind, must have seemed little
short of crime. --Hawthorne.
9. A body of persons having some common honorary distinction
or rule of obligation; esp., a body of religious persons
or aggregate of convents living under a common rule; as,
the Order of the Bath; the Franciscan order.
Find a barefoot brother out,
One of our order, to associate me. --Shak.
The venerable order of the Knights Templars. --Sir
10. An ecclesiastical grade or rank, as of deacon, priest, or
bishop; the office of the Christian ministry; -- often
used in the plural; as, to take orders, or to take holy
orders, that is, to enter some grade of the ministry.
11. (Arch.) The disposition of a column and its component
parts, and of the entablature resting upon it, in
classical architecture; hence (as the column and
entablature are the characteristic features of classical
architecture) a style or manner of architectural
Note: The Greeks used three different orders, easy to
distinguish, Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The Romans
added the Tuscan, and changed the Doric so that it is
hardly recognizable, and also used a modified
Corinthian called Composite. The Renaissance writers on
architecture recognized five orders as orthodox or
classical, -- Doric (the Roman sort), Ionic, Tuscan,
Corinthian, and Composite. See Illust. of Capital.
12. (Nat. Hist.) An assemblage of genera having certain
important characters in common; as, the Carnivora and
Insectivora are orders of Mammalia.
Note: The Linnaean artificial orders of plants rested mainly
on identity in the numer of pistils, or agreement in
some one character. Natural orders are groups of genera
agreeing in the fundamental plan of their flowers and
fruit. A natural order is usually (in botany)
equivalent to a family, and may include several tribes.
13. (Rhet.) The placing of words and members in a sentence in
such a manner as to contribute to force and beauty or
clearness of expression.
14. (Math.) Rank; degree; thus, the order of a curve or
surface is the same as the degree of its equation.
Artificial order or Artificial system. See Artificial
classification, under Artificial, and Note to def. 12
Close order (Mil.), the arrangement of the ranks with a
distance of about half a pace between them; with a
distance of about three yards the ranks are in open
The four Orders, The Orders four, the four orders of
mendicant friars. See Friar. --Chaucer.
General orders (Mil.), orders issued which concern the
whole command, or the troops generally, in distinction
from special orders.
(a) (Eccl.) The different grades of the Christian
ministry; ordination to the ministry. See def. 10
(b) (R. C. Ch.) A sacrament for the purpose of conferring
a special grace on those ordained.
In order to, for the purpose of; to the end; as means to.
The best knowledge is that which is of greatest use
in order to our eternal happiness. --Tillotson.
Minor orders (R. C. Ch.), orders beneath the diaconate in
sacramental dignity, as acolyte, exorcist, reader,
Money order. See under Money.
Natural order. (Bot.) See def. 12, Note.
(a) A merchant's book in which orders are entered.
(b) (Mil.) A book kept at headquarters, in which all
orders are recorded for the information of officers
(c) A book in the House of Commons in which proposed
orders must be entered. [Eng.]
Order in Council, a royal order issued with and by the
advice of the Privy Council. [Great Britain]
Order of battle (Mil.), the particular disposition given to
the troops of an army on the field of battle.
Order of the day, in legislative bodies, the special
business appointed for a specified day.
Order of a differential equation (Math.), the greatest
index of differentiation in the equation.
Sailing orders (Naut.), the final instructions given to the
commander of a ship of war before a cruise.
Sealed orders, orders sealed, and not to be opened until a
certain time, or arrival at a certain place, as after a
ship is at sea.
(a) A continuing regulation for the conduct of
(b) (Mil.) An order not subject to change by an officer
temporarily in command.
To give order, to give command or directions. --Shak.
To take order for, to take charge of; to make arrangements
Whiles I take order for mine own affairs. --Shak.
Syn: Arrangement; management. See Direction.