Definition of generality in US English:



  • 1A statement or principle having general rather than specific validity or force.

    ‘he confined his remarks to generalities’
    • ‘So where am I going with these generalities and abstractions that praise the specific and concrete?’
    • ‘But only a few candidates have gone beyond generalities to offer specific proposals.’
    • ‘It concentrates instead upon specific generalities that are losing relevance in today's game.’
    • ‘She has blurred specificity and social commentary into charged generalities.’
    • ‘The brainy part of the movie is best when dealing in generalities, not specifics.’
    • ‘Don't hold your breath quite yet; he's still offering vague generalities.’
    • ‘Aristotle himself advises us not to spend too much time over these generalities but rather to concentrate on the different functions of the soul.’
    • ‘The conflicts are easy to see once the discussion moves from generalities to specific cases.’
    • ‘Since I was talking generalities rather than specifics, it wasn't my intention to spend a lot of time searching and counting replies.’
    • ‘It's a greasy argument that's so long on generalities and so short on specifics.’
    • ‘Several other speakers delivered generalities and platitudes, many of which ignored the honored president entirely.’
    • ‘We need to learn to pray in specifics rather than generalities - to pray retail rather than wholesale.’
    • ‘I know we will be speaking in huge generalities, but generally speaking, what type of people want to be journalists?’
    • ‘Now, I do not know where this is taking us but we cannot, in this area especially, speak in terms of abstract generalities.’
    • ‘This is a platform long on generalities and short of specifics.’
    • ‘She tries never to attack the person, just the behavior, and to identify concrete problems and solutions rather than generalities.’
    • ‘It demands moving beyond generalities to a clear vision based on specifics.’
    • ‘This time around the presidential candidates have also gotten away with generalities and general statements.’
    • ‘Although the larger centers are similar in generalities, the specifics may differ.’
    • ‘And rather than speak in generalities, she's prepared to talk about specifics.’
    generalization, general statement, general principle, general truth, non-specific statement, loose statement, vague statement, indefinite statement, sweeping statement, abstraction, extrapolation
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    1. 1.1 The quality or state of being general.
      ‘policy should be formulated at an appropriate level of generality’
      • ‘To illustrate the generality of these ideas, we review two additional mating systems in which paternity markers have been used to study the heritability or fitness consequences of alternative morphs.’
      • ‘Acceptance of the generality of a link between social policy and education should not, however, blind us to the effects of particular proposals.’
      • ‘Our experiment explores the generality of these results by asking whether blue jays choose short-term consequences in equivalent patch and self-control situations.’
      • ‘He went on to say, on the following page, that ‘the right approach is to describe the working of the invention at the level of generality with which it is described in the claim of the patent.’’
      • ‘Without prejudice to the generality of the power conferred by section 411 those rules may contain any such provision as is specified in schedule 8 to the Act.’
      • ‘These provisions, although expressed at a level of great generality, have often been invoked by those who posit the existence of a broad international duty to cooperate or a right to solidarity.’
      • ‘A person's knowledge of a language consists, precisely, in knowledge of idioms, that is, conventionalized form-meaning relations, at varying levels of generality.’
      • ‘This result could be due to particular environmental synchronizing factors in Finland, but further studies on noncyclic species are necessary to assess the generality of our conclusion.’
      • ‘The chapter could also have included a final paragraph on the generality of the results of clinical trials, in which the mortality rate is so much lower than those observed in complete registers of all heart attack admissions.’
      • ‘We wished to test the generality of these correlations through a comprehensive analysis of completely sequenced genomes.’
      • ‘Much media debate operates at a level of generality where policies are cheered or condemned while their cultural substrate and the practices they spawn remain unexamined.’
      • ‘In particular, and without limiting the generality of that proposition, the following circumstances would ordinarily warrant the making of an application.’
      • ‘Further research on species with an extensive dietary specialisation should be conducted to test the generality of this finding for lizards.’
      • ‘Conciseness is also at a sufficiently high level of generality to provide the flexibility so a right is open to reinterpretation over time from many perspectives.’
      • ‘Researchers assess self efficacy beliefs by asking individuals to report the level, generality, and strength of their confidence to accomplish a task or succeed in a certain situation.’
      • ‘Adding heterogeneous cell surfaces will make these features possible, and increase the generality of the model.’
      • ‘He always tried to formulate his results at their natural level of generality, so that their full power was exhibited, without their content being obscured by over-elaboration.’
      • ‘Although similar parabolic relationships were observed in two other tropical avifaunas, it may be premature to assess the generality of that relationship.’
      • ‘Because sociality has evolved independently in many different lineages, it is possible to conduct a more wide-ranging study to test the generality of the relationship.’
      • ‘Your argument on this point may be right or may be wrong, but you cannot keep changing, can you, between different levels of generality and particularity in relation to weeds?’
      universality, comprehensiveness, all-inclusiveness, extensiveness, broadness, catholicity
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  • 2the generalityThe majority.

    ‘appropriate to the generality of laymen’
    • ‘His sentence, therefore, isn't necessarily a precedent for the generality of other cases of corruption.’
    • ‘It is friendship, when a man can say to himself, I love this man without respect of utility; I am open-hearted to him; I single him from the generality of those with whom I live; I make him a portion of my own wishes.’
    • ‘This is so, he concluded, because for the generality of humankind death comes as an imposition: it is a form of abjection to which all must submit with resignation, and which all must accept because they have no choice.’
    • ‘Would you be happy for that advice to be repeated to that woman in front of the generality of Australians?’
    • ‘I think that it's probably not appropriate for the generality of 12 year olds, but that it would also depend on the twelve year old in question.’
    • ‘The difficulty of course is that, where the later contract is intended to supersede the prior contract, it may in the generality of cases simply be useless to try to construe the later contract by reference to the earlier one.’
    • ‘But the generality of the population is not embarrassed by wearing traditional, merely functional, clothing, appropriate to their trades.’
    • ‘Only if treatment is offered to a population can the outcome be expected to reflect the generality of population based data.’
    • ‘The generality were prepared to concede the importance of religion in other men's lives.’
    • ‘Granting that prudential concerns will vary from one person to another, one cannot imagine what a modern society would look like if the generality of persons did not have substantial prudential concerns.’
    • ‘They represent a vital sub-culture that may be a minority but is growing and casts long shadows among the generality.’
    • ‘I think it is unfortunate, not particularly with respect to this case, but with respect to the generality of cases, that there is no prosecution appeal available.’
    • ‘Much of what the generality of writers have to say is dull and inept, so that it is fortunate English prose has developed a method for making their pronouncements at least sound graceful.’
    • ‘But the fact that the generality of barrister pupils have been unpaid, not just in the distant past but also in modern times, is in our view of significance in determining whether a relationship of or equivalent to apprenticeship exists.’
    • ‘And we might learn also that our neighbors, and even the generality of our fellow citizens (both actual and potential) have better angels of their own.’
    • ‘I know the generality of them, therefore I am loathe to put in an opinion when I do not know the full facts.’
    • ‘The guerrillas and other forces are rejecting such participation, and the question is whether they can win over the generality to their rejectionist point of view.’
    • ‘I feel the generality of doctors is good and want to stand by the profession.’
    majority, larger number, larger part, greater number, greater part, best part, better part, main part
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Late Middle English: from Old French generalite, from late Latin generalitas, from generalis (see general).