generalize

To generalize is to use specific examples to make broader points. Generalizing makes large points, though they aren't always necessarily true.

When someone says "in general" they're talking about what things are like in the big picture or overall. Similarly, generalizing takes small examples and uses them to make bigger points. Saying that all teens are selfish because you know a few selfish teens is generalizing. Saying all adults are uptight is an example of generalizing. Unfortunately, generalizing can be dangerous. Stereotyping is a form of generalizing. Sometimes it’s better to stick to specific examples and to avoid generalizing.

Primary Meanings of generalize

1.
v
draw from specific cases for more general cases
2.
v
cater to popular taste to make popular and present to the general public; bring into general or common use
3.
v
become systemic and spread throughout the body
Full Definitions of generalize
1

v draw from specific cases for more general cases

Synonyms:
extrapolate, generalise, infer
Types:
overgeneralise, overgeneralize
draw too general a conclusion
universalise, universalize
make universal
Type of:
conclude, reason, reason out
decide by reasoning; draw or come to a conclusion

v speak or write in generalities

Synonyms:
generalise
Antonyms:
particularise, particularize, specialise, specialize, specify
be specific about
Type of:
mouth, speak, talk, utter, verbalise, verbalize
express in speech
2

v cater to popular taste to make popular and present to the general public; bring into general or common use

Synonyms:
generalise, popularise, popularize, vulgarise, vulgarize
popularise, popularize
make understandable to the general public
Type of:
broadcast, circularise, circularize, circulate, diffuse, disperse, disseminate, distribute, pass around, propagate, spread
cause to become widely known
3

v become systemic and spread throughout the body

“this kind of infection generalizes throughout the immune system”
Synonyms:
generalise
Type of:
distribute, spread
distribute or disperse widely

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