Pronunciation: ( jen'ur-ul), [key]
1. of or pertaining to all persons or things belonging to a group or category: a general meeting of the employees.
2. of, pertaining to, or true of such persons or things in the main, with possible exceptions; common to most; prevalent; usual: the general mood of the people.
3. not limited to one class, field, product, service, etc.; miscellaneous: the general public; general science.
4. considering or dealing with overall characteristics, universal aspects, or important elements, esp. without considering all details or specific aspects: general instructions; a general description; a general resemblance one to another.
5. not specific or definite: I could give them only a general idea of what was going on.
6. (of anesthesia or an anesthetic) causing loss of consciousness and abolishing sensitivity to pain throughout the body.
7. having extended command or superior or chief rank: the secretary general of the United Nations; the attorney general.
a. U.S. Army and Air Force. an officer ranking above a lieutenant general and below a general of the army or general of the air force.
b. U.S. Army.an officer of any of the five highest ranks: a brigadier general, major general, lieutenant general, general, or general of the army.
c. U.S. Marines. an officer holding the highest rank in the corps.
d. (in numerous armies) an officer in the highest, second, or third highest rank, as one ranking immediately below a field marshal in the British army.
2. Eccles.the chief official of a religious order.
3. something that is general; generality.
4. Archaic.the general public.
5. in general,
a. with respect to the whole class referred to; as a whole: He likes people in general.
b. as a rule; usually: In general, the bus is here by 9 a.m.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.