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General vs Generic


  • ‘General’ (adj) means ‘affecting or involving all or most people, things, or places; widespread or common’.
  • ‘Generic’ (adj) means ‘representative or typical of a whole group of similar things’.

What’s the difference between ‘general’ and ‘generic’?

Although they may appear similar, these meanings are slightly different. ‘General’ denotes wide applicability, while ‘generic’ denotes plainness or a lack of outstanding characteristics.

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How they’re used

Example sentences with ‘general’

  • A general agreement was noted among the practitioner community.
  • Studies have consistently reported vitamin D deficiency in the general population.

Example sentences with ‘generic’

  • This paper presents a generic theory for sinuous flow patterns in landscapes.
  • The contribution of discipline background to conceptions of generic attributes is discussed.