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adjective British English pronunciation: general /ˈdʒen(ə)rəl/
  1. 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.

  2. 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. 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. 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. 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.

    See also  secretary-general

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