One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The office, rank, or position of general, especially of a religious body or organization.
2The term of office of a general; the period of time served by an individual in this office.
3A district or a division of an organization which is supervised by a general.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Robert Dallington (b. 1561), author and courtier. From general + -ate. In sense 1 after French généralat office of general, term of office of a general and its etymon Italian generalato office of general; compare post-classical Latin generalatus generalship (of Friars Minor).
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