If your mom says, "What have you been up to?" and you reply, "Ah, stuff," you have used a generality. It's the opposite of being specific, of saying, "Well, I shop lifted and picked my nose."

Politicians speak in generalities––they want to cut the deficit and keep taxes low, but they don't want to tell you exactly how they will do that. Generalities can also refer to conclusions we draw about the world: If you say people at baseball games like to eat hot dogs, you've used a generality. Maybe people at baseball games eat hot dogs because there's nothing else to buy.

Definitions of generality

n the quality of being general or widespread or having general applicability

particularity, specialness
the quality of being particular and pertaining to a specific case or instance
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commonality, commonness
sharing of common attributes
the quality of filling or spreading throughout
the quality of prevailing generally; being widespread
catholicity, universality
the quality of being universal; existing everywhere
the quality of being complete and indiscriminate
a union of interests or purposes or sympathies among members of a group
general acceptance or use
Type of:
an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone

n an idea or conclusion having general application

“he spoke in broad generalities
generalisation, generalization
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principle, rule
a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct
a fundamental principle or practice
the bright positive masculine principle in Chinese dualistic cosmology
the dark negative feminine principle in Chinese dualistic cosmology
feng shui
rules in Chinese philosophy that govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to patterns of yin and yang and the flow of energy (qi); the favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into consideration in designing and siting buildings and graves and furniture
Type of:
idea, thought
the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about

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