Concerned with, applicable to, or affecting the whole or every member of a class or category: "subduing all her impressions as a woman, to something more general\u201d ( Virginia Woolf). Affecting or characteristic of the majority of those involved; prevalent: general discontent. Of or affecting the entire body: general paralysis. Being usually the case; true or applicable in most instances but not all: the general correctness of her decisions. Not limited in scope, area, or application: as a general rule. Not limited to or dealing with one class of things; diversified: general studies. Involving only the main features rather than precise details: a general grasp of the subject. Highest or superior in rank: the general manager. A commissioned rank in the U.S. Army, Air Force, or Marine Corps that is above lieutenant general. One who holds this rank or a similar rank in another military organization. A general officer. A statement, principle, or fact that embraces or is applicable to the whole. General anesthesia. Archaic The public. in general Generally.