Middle English Dictionary Entry

ǧenerāl adj. & n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

1.
(a) All-inclusive, universal; including all of an estate; ~ dai, a day of meeting or worship for all members of a group; ~ reule, a rule having no exceptions; (b) complete, absolute; (c) as a whole.
2.
(a) Comprehensive, inclusive, full, thorough; (b) of wide application, generic, general (as opposed to special or specific); of a medicine: not specific, generally efficacious; ~ name, a designation shared by two or more things; ~ reule, a rule applying to an art or science as a whole; (c) widespread, frequent, common.
3.
Couched in general terms.
4.
In titles: (a) having general authority or jurisdiction, chief; attorne (depute) ~, a principal agent or substitute; commissarie ~, vice-chancellor of a university; lord ~, supreme lord; ~ receivour, one of the officers placed over the collectors of rents, etc.; ministre ~, the chief servant; esp., the head or superior of an order of friars; vicaire ~, the chief substitute or representative; (b) ~ chirche, the Universal Church.
5.
As noun: (a) a general class of things, a genus, a broad classification; also, a general truth; (b) a general meeting; (c) a neutral color used for outlines and shading [see Salzman Building in Engl. 168-9].
6.
Phr. in general: (a) without exception, universally; in one body; (b) as a rule, generally; (c) not specifically, in general terms, in general.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • a1500 Hatton Informacio (Hat 58)116/215 : For when y haue and Englissch of an infinityff mod sett after a nown generall as hora, tempus, causa, propositum, desiderium et similia, hitt schall be sett most comynly in þe gerundyff in -di.
  • Note: AQ