Definition of generalization in US English:


(British generalisation)


  • 1A general statement or concept obtained by inference from specific cases.

    ‘he was making sweeping generalizations’
    • ‘They provide insightful empirical generalizations, but little theory.’
    • ‘These are generalizations, and all generalizations are false, at least part of the time.’
    • ‘Obviously, this season is still proving itself, so I can't make any sweeping generalizations.’
    • ‘It just amazed him how people form such absurd generalizations out of specific instances.’
    • ‘Remember that, for Mill, all mathematical knowledge is based on inductive generalizations from experience.’
    • ‘Broad generalizations are made to draw conclusions about the historical development of England and Japan.’
    • ‘That may also prevent mindless sweeping generalisations, such as that posted a couple of days ago, from being made.’
    • ‘I find that people have difficulty understanding that broad statistical generalizations don't justify leaping to conclusions about individuals.’
    • ‘But it does not, so I will press on with the sweeping generalizations.’
    • ‘Or, as this film attempts to prove, is that a gross generalization?’
    • ‘Participation is far too diverse a concept to permit easy generalizations.’
    • ‘To put it more technically, this means avoiding statistical generalizations about dance that might contribute to stereotypes and misunderstandings.’
    • ‘Unlike many writers who study one element of a country's past, she does not fall into the all too easy trap of making sweeping generalisations.’
    • ‘The answer is obvious: there is no unified conception but merely a shifting and vague generalization.’
    • ‘Would she feel okay about making such sweeping generalizations if she were in any other line of work?’
    • ‘This fellow makes some valid points, but they're lost among the sweeping generalizations.’
    • ‘He claims much knowledge of particulars and offers very large generalizations.’
    • ‘The best I can do is provide what are admittedly broad generalizations based on considerable experience in the field.’
    • ‘I'm an advocate of proposing solutions rather than offering grand generalizations.’
    • ‘By contrast, he held that empirical generalizations are contingent truths.’
    concept, idea, notion, thought, generality, theory, theorem, formula, hypothesis, speculation, conjecture, supposition, presumption
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The action of generalizing.
      ‘such anecdotes cannot be a basis for generalization’
      • ‘Readers should note that the low return rate may severely limit the generalization of these findings.’
      • ‘To imply such a thing would be vast generalisation and patronising over-simplification.’
      • ‘The predilection to moral generalization is more troublesome.’
      • ‘Generalization of findings was limited to the ambulatory surgery population in these settings.’
      • ‘Perhaps a little less generalisation wouldn't go amiss.’
      • ‘University graduates must be trained in analysis, in flexible thinking, in communication and in the essential skills of adaptation, generalisation and innovation.’
      • ‘Divergent thinking is when you move outward from specific information to more broadly based generalization.’
      • ‘Some presidents leave behind records so contradictory as to cloud generalisation.’
      • ‘Metaphorical indirection gives way to explicit generalization.’
      • ‘Again, I think the absolute basis of all prejudice is ignorance and generalization.’
      • ‘It was another, constantly repeated example of this programme's main flaw: massive generalisation.’
      • ‘The best one can say at the moment, of both countries, is that they defy generalization.’
      • ‘The characteristic periods of drought and low beef prices also rule out generalisation about exploitation.’
      • ‘Left wing and right wing are largely useless terms and are now usually only seen in cases of generalisation or before an ad hominem attack.’
      • ‘But they may still serve a basis for some generalisation when the issue of ‘partnership’ is brought into question.’
      • ‘Thus, the transfer of training that was found could not be attributable to generalization on the basis of stimulus similarity.’
      • ‘The leaders cannot generalize a mistake made by one media organization because generalization is always wrong.’
      • ‘There are several factors that limit the generalization of these results to other patient populations.’
      • ‘The loose geometry suggests a kind of preindustrial masonry or fabric patterning, while the range of colors defies generalization.’
      • ‘Of course, there are some generational differences, but even most of those are grounded in generalisation and personal experience.’