What word does your mother always say?


[jen-er-uh-lahyz] /ˈdʒɛn ər əˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), generalized, generalizing.
to infer (a general principle, trend, etc.) from particular facts, statistics, or the like.
to infer or form (a general principle, opinion, conclusion, etc.) from only a few facts, examples, or the like.
to give a general rather than a specific or special character or form to.
to make general; bring into general use or knowledge.
verb (used without object), generalized, generalizing.
to form general principles, opinions, etc.
to deal, think, or speak in generalities.
to make general inferences.
Also, especially British, generalise.
Origin of generalize
1745-55; general + -ize
Related forms
generalizable, adjective
generalizer, noun
nongeneralized, adjective
ungeneralized, adjective
ungeneralizing, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for generalized
  • At first a fairly generalized elephant species, mammoths evolved into several specialized species adapted to their environments.
  • Literature may move on the generalized linguistic plane or may be inseparable from specific linguistic conditions.
  • The reference to narrow scholarship that stays in libraries can hardly be generalized to broader cultural understanding.
  • He taught the system to make a generalized subway map of the city.
  • Most of the required components of a radio are the same and can be generalized.
  • generalized cover letters often miss the mark, so it's more important than ever to tailor your letter to the job specification.
  • Apps markets are actually leading the way to a more generalized system that can be applied to all forms of innovation.
  • Therefore, to make a generalized conclusion about the population as a whole based on this set is ridiculous, and proves nothing.
  • But they controlled for worry and generalized anxiety in order to isolate specific anxiety about feeling anxious.
  • We realistically need some method of time keeping that can be generalized across the world.
British Dictionary definitions for generalized


to form (general principles or conclusions) from (detailed facts, experience, etc); infer
(intransitive) to think or speak in generalities, esp in a prejudiced way
(transitive; usually passive) to cause to become widely used or known
(intransitive) (of a disease)
  1. to spread throughout the body
  2. to change from a localized infection or condition to a systemic one: generalized infection
Derived Forms
generalizer, generaliser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for generalized



1751, probably a new formation from general (adj.) + -ize. Middle English had generalisen (early 15c.). Related: Generalizable; generalized; generalizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
generalized in Medicine

generalized adj.

  1. Involving an entire organ, as when an epileptic seizure involves all parts of the brain.

  2. Not specifically adapted to a particular environment or function; not specialized.

  3. Generally prevalent.

generalize gen·er·al·ize (jěn'ər-ə-līz')
v. gen·er·al·ized, gen·er·al·iz·ing, gen·er·al·iz·es

  1. To reduce to a general form, class, or law.

  2. To render indefinite or unspecific.

  3. To infer from many particulars.

  4. To draw inferences or a general conclusion from.

  5. To make generally or universally applicable.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for generalize

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for generalized

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with generalized