AskDefine | Define general

Dictionary Definition

general adj
1 applying to all or most members of a category or group; "the general public"; "general assistance"; "a general rule"; "in general terms"; "comprehensible to the general reader" [ant: specific]
2 not specialized or limited to one class of things; "general studies"; "general knowledge"
3 of national scope; "a general election"
4 prevailing among and common to the general public; "the general discontent"
5 affecting the entire body; "a general anesthetic"; "general symptoms" [ant: local]
6 somewhat indefinite; "bearing a general resemblance to the original"; "a general description of the merchandise"
7 of worldwide scope or applicability; "an issue of cosmopolitan import"; "the shrewdest political and ecumenical comment of our time"- Christopher Morley; "universal experience" [syn: cosmopolitan, ecumenical, oecumenical, universal, worldwide]


1 a general officer of the highest rank [syn: full general]
2 the head of a religious order or congregation [syn: superior general]
3 a fact about the whole (as opposed to particular); "he discussed the general but neglected the particular" [ant: particular, particular] v : command as a general; "We are generaled by an incompetent!"

User Contributed Dictionary



From Latin generalis, from noun genus + adjective suffix -alis


  • /ˈdʒɛnɹəl/, /"dZEnr@l/
  • Hyphenation: gen·er·al


  1. not specific or particular
  2. concerned with, applicable to, or affecting the whole or every member of a class or category


Related terms


not specific or particular
  • Danish: generel, almindelig
  • Dutch: algemeen
  • Finnish: yleinen
  • German: allgemein, generell
  • Greek: γενικός (genikós)
  • Hungarian: általános
  • Russian: общий
  • Slovak: všeobecný
  • Slovene: splošen
concerned with, applicable to, or affecting the whole or every member of a class or category
  • Czech: obecný
  • Danish: almen, generel
  • Dutch: algemeen
  • Finnish: yleis-
  • German: allgemein
  • Greek: γενικός (genikós)
  • Russian: общий
  • Slovak: všeobecný
  • Slovene: splošen


  1. A rank in the army and air force that is higher than colonel or brigadier, and is usually the highest rank group next to commander in chief, except in countries that use the rank of field marshal.
  2. Short for general anaesthetic.


rank higher than a colonel or brigadier
  • Czech: generál
  • Danish: general
  • Dutch: generaal
  • Esperanto: generalo
  • Finnish: kenraali
  • French: général
  • German: General
  • Hungarian: generális, tábornok
  • Indonesian: jendral
  • Russian: генерал
  • Slovene: general
  • Spanish: général

See also



  1. In the context of "military ranks|lang=bs": general




hr-noun m







general m (plural: generais)
  1. A general



  1. In the context of "military ranks|lang=sr": general




  1. general


  1. general

Extensive Definition

A General Officer is an officer of high military rank. The term is used by nearly every country in the world. General can be used as a generic term for all grades of general officer, or it can specifically refer to a single rank that is just called General.

All General officer ranks

The various grades of general officer are at the top of the rank structure. The General Officer ranks came about by adding General as an adjective to existing names of ranks, although in some countries the highest general officers are titled Field Marshal or Marshal. All officers who commanded more than a single regiment (the most significant level of unit) came to be known as a "general officer".

Common systems

There are two common systems of using general ranks.
One form, the old European system, is used in the United Kingdom from which it eventually spread to the Commonwealth and the United States of America. The system is not British in origin, and variations of this system were once used throughout Europe.
The other is derived from the French Revolution, where generals' ranks are named according to the unit they (theoretically) command.
Old European system The system used either a brigadier rank, or a colonel general rank (i.e. exclude one of the italicised ranks.)
The rank of field marshal was used by some countries as the highest rank, while in other countries it was used as a divisional or brigade rank. Many countries (notably pre-revolutionary France and eventually much of Latin America) actually used two brigade command ranks, which is why some countries now use two stars as their brigade general insignia. (Mexico and Argentina still use two brigade command ranks.)
In some nations (particularly in the Commonwealth), the equivalent to Brigadier General is Brigadier, which is not always considered by these armies to be a general officer rank, although it is always treated as equivalent to the rank of Brigadier General for comparative purposes.
French (Revolutionary) system More information about this system can be found on the page: Général.

Other variations

Other nomenclatures for general officers include the titles and/or ranks:

The specific General rank

In the Old European system, a General, without prefix or suffix (and sometimes referred to informally as a "full general"), is usually the most senior type of general, above Lieutenant General and directly below Field Marshal. Usually it is the most senior peace-time rank, with more senior ranks (for example, Field Marshal) being used only in war time, or as honorary titles.
In some armies, however, the rank of Captain General, General of the Army, Army General or Colonel General occupied or occupies this position. Depending on circumstances and the army in question, these ranks may be considered to be equivalent to a full General or to a Field Marshal.
The rank of General came about as a "Captain-General", the captain of an army in general, i.e. the whole army. The rank of Captain-General began appearing around the time of the organization of professional armies in the 17th century. In most countries "Captain-General" contracted to just "General".

General ranks by country

The following articles deal with the rank of General as it is employed in the militaries of those countries.

General equivalent ranks

Other General ranks

Air Force and Navy Equivalents

Some countries (such as the United States) use the General Officer ranks for both the army and the air force. But some countries only use the General Officer ranks for the army, while in the air force they use Air Officers as the equivalent of General Officers. They use the air force rank of Air Marshal as the equivalent of the specific army rank of General. This latter group includes the British Royal Air Force and those based on it (e.g. India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Nigeria etc.).
In most navies of the world, Flag Officers are the equivalent of General Officers. And the naval rank of Admiral is equivalent to the specific army rank of General. However a noteworthy historical exception was the Cromwellian naval rank General at sea. In recent years in the American service there is a tendency to use "Flag Officer" and "Flag Rank" to refer to generals and admirals of the services collectively.

See also

External links

general in Arabic: فريق أول (رتبة عسكرية)
general in Bulgarian: Генерал
general in Bengali: জেনারেল অফিসার
general in Bosnian: General
general in Catalan: General
general in Czech: Generál
general in Danish: General
general in German: General
general in Estonian: Kindral
general in Spanish: General
general in Esperanto: Generalo
general in Persian: تیمسار
general in French: Général
general in Korean: 장군
general in Croatian: General
general in Indonesian: Jenderal
general in Ossetian: Инæлар
general in Italian: Generale
general in Hebrew: גנרל
general in Swahili (macrolanguage): Jenerali
general in Lithuanian: Generolas
general in Dutch: Generaal
general in Japanese: 将軍
general in Norwegian Nynorsk: General
general in Norwegian: General
general in Polish: Generał
general in Portuguese: General
general in Urdu: منصبِ جامع
general in Russian: Генерал
general in Simple English: General
general in Slovak: Generál
general in Slovenian: General
general in Serbian: Генерал
general in Finnish: Kenraali
general in Swedish: General
general in Vietnamese: Đại tướng
general in Turkish: General
general in Ukrainian: Генерал
general in Yiddish: זשענעראל
general in Chinese: 將軍 (中國古代)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ADC, Babbittish, CO, OD, Philistine, abstract, accepted, accustomed, across the board, aide, aide-de-camp, aleatoric, aleatory, all-inclusive, amorphous, approximate, ascendant, associated, assorted, at the head, bland, blanket, blended, blobby, blurred, blurry, boss, bourgeois, brigadier, brigadier general, broad, campy, captain, casual, catholic, chance, chancy, chaotic, chicken colonel, chief, chief of staff, civic, civil, collective, collectivistic, colonel, combined, commandant, commander, commander in chief, commanding, commanding officer, commissioned officer, common, commonplace, communal, communistic, community, commutual, company officer, composite, comprehensive, confused, conjoint, controlling, cooperative, cosmopolitan, customary, disordered, diversified, dominant, encyclopedic, everyday, exec, executive officer, extended, extensive, familiar, featureless, field marshal, field officer, first lieutenant, five-star general, foggy, four-star general, fuzzy, general officer, generalissimo, generalized, generic, global, governing, habitual, hazy, head, hegemonic, hegemonistic, heterogeneous, high-camp, hit-or-miss, homely, homespun, humdrum, hybrid, ill-defined, imprecise, imprudent, in ascendancy, in charge, in chief, in common, in the ascendant, inaccurate, inchoate, inclusive, incoherent, indecisive, indefinable, indefinite, indeterminable, indeterminate, indiscreet, indiscriminate, indiscriminative, indistinct, inexact, insensitive, international, jemadar, joint, junior officer, kitschy, lax, leading, lieutenant, lieutenant colonel, lieutenant general, loose, low-camp, major, major general, marechal, marshal, master, miscellaneous, mixed, mongrel, mutual, national, natural, naturalistic, naturistic, nebulous, neutral, nonjudgmental, nonspecific, normal, obscure, officer, one-star general, orderless, orderly, orderly officer, ordinary, overall, panoramic, paramount, plebeian, pop, popular, predominant, predominate, prepollent, preponderant, preponderate, prepotent, prevailing, prevalent, promiscuous, public, random, realistic, reciprocal, regnant, regular, regulating, regulative, regulatory, reigning, risaldar, routine, ruling, run-of-the-mill, senior officer, shadowed forth, shadowy, shapeless, shared, shavetail, sirdar, social, socialistic, societal, sovereign, staff officer, state, stochastic, subahdar, subaltern, sublieutenant, supranational, supreme, sweeping, tactless, the Old Man, the brass, three-star general, top brass, two-star general, typical, uncharacterized, unclear, uncritical, uncriticizing, undefined, undemanding, undestined, undetermined, undifferentiated, undifferentiating, undiscreet, undiscriminating, undiscriminative, uneventful, unexacting, unexceptional, unfastidious, universal, unmeticulous, unparticular, unplain, unrestricted, unselective, unspecific, unspecified, unsubtle, untactful, usual, vague, veiled, vernacular, vulgar, wholesale, wide, widespread, worldwide
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1