A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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General (adjective)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 891

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 891

Ge'neral. adj. [general, French; generalis, Latin.]

  1. Comprehending many species or individuals; not special; not particular.

    To conclude from particulars to generals is a false way of arguing. Notes to Pope's Odyssey.

  2. Lax in signification; not restrained to any special or particular import.

    Where the author speaks more strictly and particularly on any theme, it will explain the more loose and general expressions. Watt's Improvement of the Mind.

  3. Not restrained by narrow or distinctive limitations.

    A general idea is an idea in the mind, considered there as separated from time and place, and so capable to represent any particular being that is conformable to it. Locke.

  4. Relating to a whole class or body of men, or a whole kind of any being.

    They, because some have been admitted without trial, make that fault general which is particular. Whitgifte.

  5. Publick; comprising the whole.

    Nor would we deign him burial of his men,
    'Till he disburs'd, at Saint Colmeskill isIe,
    Ten thousand dollars to our gen'ral use.
    Shakesp. Macbeth.

    Nor fail'd they to express how much they prais'd,
    That for the general safety he despis'd
    His own.
    Milton's Paradise Lost, b. ii.

  6. Not directed to any single object.

    If the same thing be peculiarly evil, that general aversion will be turned into a particular hatred against it. Spratt.

  7. Extensive, though not universal.

  8. Common; usual.

                        I've been bold,
    For that I knew it the most general way.
    Shakesp. Timon.

  9. General is appended to several offices: as, Attorney General, Solicitor General, Vicar General.

Sources: Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Milton, John (449) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Sprat, Thomas (20) · Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (32) · Watts, Isaac (117) · Whitgift, John (6)

Attributes: Adjective (426) · French (385) · Latin (690)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "General (adjective)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: December 22, 2013. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/general-adjective/.

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