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[juh-ner-ik] /dʒəˈnɛr ɪk/
adjective, Also, generical
of, applicable to, or referring to all the members of a genus, class, group, or kind; general.
of, relating to, or noting a genus, especially in biology.
(of a word) applicable or referring to both men and women:
a generic pronoun.
not protected by trademark registration:
“Cola” and “shuttle” are generic terms.
a generic term.
any product, as a type of food, drug, or cosmetic commonly marketed under a brand name, that is sold in a package without a brand.
a wine made from two or more varieties of grapes, with no one grape constituting more than half the product (distinguished from varietal).
Origin of generic
1670-80; < Latin gener- (see gender1) + -ic
Related forms
generically, adverb
genericalness, noun
nongeneric, adjective
nongenerical, adjective
nongenerically, adverb
pseudogeneric, adjective
pseudogenerical, adjective
pseudogenerically, adverb
supergeneric, adjective
supergenerically, adverb
ungeneric, adjective
ungenerical, adjective
ungenerically, adverb
4. general, nonproprietary, unrestricted. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for generic
  • Most of them are generic.
  • Green also recorded some more generic spots for use by other retailers and libraries.
  • Its oddly generic tone comes courtesy of a stark fact: Newberry has no nickname.
  • Although Brokaw's advice is helpful and inspirational, it is also generic and familiar.
  • Insert the generic undefined actor of your choice.
  • Buckytube is a generic term for cylindrical.
  • The themes are so generic that I flirted with simply passing off someone else's teaching philosophy as my own.
  • While their work is primarily generic, there are others working on discipline-specific measures.
  • The generic characters and simplistic handling of a complex problem will disappoint even those who share her views.
  • Confidant is generic, meaning either a male or a female in whom one confides; confidante is used only of females.
British Dictionary definitions for generic


applicable or referring to a whole class or group; general
(biology) of, relating to, or belonging to a genus: the generic name
denoting the nonproprietary name of a drug, food product, etc
a drug, food product, etc that does not have a trademark
Derived Forms
generically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from French; see genus
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
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Word Origin and History for generic

1670s, "belonging to a large group of objects," formed in English from Latin gener-, stem of genus "kind" (see genus) + -ic. Sense of "not special, not brand-name; in plain, cheap packaging," of groceries, etc., is from 1977.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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generic in Medicine

generic ge·ner·ic (jə-něr'ĭk)

  1. Of or relating to a genus.

  2. Relating to or descriptive of an entire group or class; general.

  3. Not having a trademark or brand name.

A drug sold without a brand name or trademark.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for generic



Inferior; cheesy, grotty: Larry King doesn't appear to be generic: he has a distinctive voice, and he doesn't look like anybody else (1980s+ Students)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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