general term


From 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.
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   2. Comprehending many species or individuals; not special or
      particular; including all particulars; as, a general
      inference or conclusion.
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   3. Not restrained or limited to a precise import; not
      specific; vague; indefinite; lax in signification; as, a
      loose and general expression.
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   4. Common to many, or the greatest number; widely spread;
      prevalent; extensive, though not universal; as, a general
      opinion; a general custom.
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            This general applause and cheerful shout
            Argue your wisdom and your love to Richard. --Shak.
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   5. Having a relation to all; common to the whole; as, Adam,
      our general sire. --Milton.
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   6. As a whole; in gross; for the most part.
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            His general behavior vain, ridiculous. --Shak.
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   7. Usual; common, on most occasions; as, his general habit or
      method.
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   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.
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   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.
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