1 adjective
1 NOT DETAILED describing only the main features of something, not the details: a general introduction to computing | general idea: I've got a general idea of how I want the new room to look. | in general terms (=without considering specific details): The minister talked in general terms about the need for fairer taxation.
2 in general
a) usually or in most situations: In general, about 10% of the candidates are eventually offered positions.
b) as a broad subject: We're trying to raise awareness about the environment in general and air pollution in particular.
3 AS A WHOLE considered in terms of a whole situation, group, etc, not of the specific parts that it consists of; overall 1: There are a few intelligent ones, but the general standard isn't very high. | We were impressed by the quality of their work and the general air of professionalism. | a general anaesthetic (=for the whole body, not one part of it)
4 ORDINARY/NOT SPECIFIC of an ordinary kind, not one particular kind: I spend about 10 hours a week doing general cooking and cleaning. | How widespread is AIDS in the general population? | It's a good general fertilizer.
5 MOST PEOPLE shared by or affecting most people, or most of the people in a group: Keynes' view of economics gained general acceptance in the 1930's. | How soon can the drug be made available for general use?
6 the general area/neighbourhood/location not the exact place or direction, but somewhere near: Several bombs landed in the same general area.
7 JOB used in the name of a job to show that the person who does this job has complete responsibility: the general manager | the Attorney General
8 as a general rule used to say what happens in most cases: He doesn't give interviews as a general rule, but he's prepared to make an exception in this case.
9 the general public ordinary people, who do not have important positions or belong to specific groups: Health education is aimed at the general public as well as at high-risk groups. | The doors opened to the general public last night at the Klondyke Building.
10 in the general interest in a way that helps or brings advantage to most people: It's in the general interest to invest in public transportation.
—see also: generally 2 noun (C) an officer of very high rank in the army or air force

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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