Definition of generically in US English:



  • 1In a way that relates to a class or group of similar things; not specifically.

    ‘what most writers generically refer to as "world music"’
    • ‘Due to the similarity in function among thorns, spines, and prickles, we will generically refer to all plants bearing them as armed.’
    • ‘They put out 2,000-piece kits generically labeled "Cars," "Boats," "Planes," "Dwellings," etc.’
    • ‘A third group, generically called creeping thymes, includes T. serpyllum and T. herba-barona.’
    • ‘The term "organic mineral" is commonly used to describe generically any of several forms of trace minerals available in the feed industry.’
    • ‘We use the words "rhizome" and "shoot" generically to refer to all connections between ramets and all above-ground photosynthetic material.’
    • ‘Blue light is usually generically defined as radiation from 400 to 500 nm.’
    • ‘These methods may be somewhat less successful than those that rely more on generically applicable physical principles.’
    • ‘He refers generically to alterations ordered by the military, then writes that the army did not censor his account of events or materially alter the book.’
    • ‘Set in a generically affluent suburb during October 1988, the film opens on a mountain road as dawn breaks.’
    • ‘We might find water heaters, pumps, and other equipment—generically called "appliances" in most building codes—located in the attic or the crawlspace.’
    1. 1.1 As an unbranded name.
      ‘Prozac, generically known as fluoxetine hydrochloride’
      ‘most shorts are made of a stretchy fabric generically called spandex’
      • ‘In the days of yore, a soft drink would be generically labeled "root beer."’
      • ‘Developed in 1928, this material is sometimes referred to generically as linoleum.’
      • ‘Dexedrine, generically known as dextroamphetamine, was developed in the 1920s, and was initially used to treat depression and obesity.’
      • ‘The drug is also known generically as mefloquine.’
      • ‘He was prescribed a drug, generically known as levodopa.’
      • ‘This book will help introduce you to many of these new products, both generically and by specific brand names.’
      • ‘The drug, generically known as sibutramine, was supposed to be an anti-depressant, but patients who took it stayed depressed and lost weight.’
      • ‘It can only do so if the prescription is written generically.’
      • ‘A psychologist analyzed previously secret trials of the six most widely prescribed anti-depressants, generically known as SSRIs.’
      • ‘People have generally not tried to control bentgrass and similar species with Roundup, known generically as glyphosate.’
    2. 1.2derogatory In a way which lacks imagination or individuality; predictably and unoriginally.
      ‘generically nondescript musical numbers’
      ‘the characters were stiffly animated and generically designed’
      • ‘Your 360-degree evaluations come back short and full of generically positive comments, with one very mild criticism thrown in for credibility's sake.’
      • ‘Because they insist on considering the individual person generically, they undermine the particularities that ground the self and make it specific.’
      • ‘I wish the commentators would tell us what we're seeing, but they are yapping generically about pageantry.’
      • ‘Ever since the character with the penchant for third-person self-references came on the scene, they say the show has become less inventive and more generically cute.’
      • ‘Do you think that these results can then just generically be applied to women?’
      • ‘Families are rarely ideal in literary novels, and this one seems almost generically dysfunctional.’
      • ‘It gets generically formulaic.’
      • ‘Some of the new mutants are special, even if many of them feel generically characterized.’
      • ‘The filmmaker has seemingly gone out of his way to paint the scenery as generically as possible.’
      • ‘We seem too anxious in the crafts to become generically contemporary and banally global.’
  • 2Biology
    With reference to genus.

    ‘the group of aerobic bacteria generically designated as actinomycetes’
    • ‘The horn characters seem sufficiently different to separate these species generically.’
    • ‘I use the name Ginkgoites for leaves that are believed to belong either to plants generically identical with Ginkgo or to very closely allied types.’
    • ‘It has been suggested that these organisms be designated generically as Arthrobacter.’
    • ‘Its septal microstructure is not clear, and thus it cannot be definitely assigned generically.’
    • ‘Neptis contains two astonishingly dissimilar insects generically, though superficially bearing some resemblance.’
    • ‘Generically, it is nearly allied to Epidendrum, from which its eight pollen masses at once distinguish it.’
    • ‘It is a moth with which they have long been generically grouped.’
    • ‘They are so liable to be mistaken for parts of plants generically different, that they have given rise to much controversy.’
    • ‘It may be desirable to separate generically the species having the hemispherical apertures, median ciliated pore, and sublateral avicularium.’
    • ‘Fragments of several fossils generically identical with those of the Applethwaite Beds are easily discoverable.’