Generic refers to the members of a whole class of things — like "tissue," a generic word for any soft, thin piece of paper that's good for wiping runny noses.

A generic product, whether it's a tire or donut or drug, is typical of all other products like it. There's nothing distinctive or unique about it. A generic fan looks and acts just like dozens of other fans — it doesn't spin backwards or send out sparks. Generic aspirin doesn't have a trademark, like Bayer or St. Joseph: it's just plain aspirin.

Definitions of generic
  1. adjective
    applicable to an entire class or group
    “is there a generic Asian mind?”
    applying to all or most members of a category or group
  2. adjective
    relating to or common to or descriptive of all members of a genus
    “the generic name”
  3. adjective
    (of drugs) not protected by trademark
    “`Acetaminophen' is the generic form of the proprietary drug `Tylenol'”
    not protected by trademark or patent or copyright
  4. noun
    any product that can be sold without a brand name
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    generic drug
    when the patent protection for a brand-name drug expires generic versions of the drug can be offered for sale if the FDA agrees
    type of:
    merchandise, product, ware
    commodities offered for sale
  5. noun
    a wine that is a blend of several varieties of grapes with no one grape predominating; a wine that does not carry the name of any specific grape
    synonyms: generic wine
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    varietal, varietal wine
    a wine made principally from one grape and carrying the name of that grape
    type of:
    vino, wine
    fermented juice (of grapes especially)
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