generalize gen"er*al*ize, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Generalized}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Generalizing}.] [Cf. F. g['e]n['e]raliser.] [Also spelled {generalise}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To bring under a genus or under genera; to view in relation to a genus or to genera. [1913 Webster]

Copernicus generalized the celestial motions by merely referring them to the moon's motion. Newton generalized them still more by referring this last to the motion of a stone through the air. --W. Nicholson. [1913 Webster]

2. To apply to other genera or classes; to use with a more extensive application; to extend so as to include all special cases; to make universal in application, as a formula or rule. [1913 Webster]

When a fact is generalized, our discontent is quited, and we consider the generality itself as tantamount to an explanation. --Sir W. Hamilton. [1913 Webster]

3. To derive or deduce (a general conception, or a general principle) from particulars. [WordNet sense 2]

Syn: generalize, extrapolate, infer. [1913 Webster]

A mere conclusion generalized from a great multitude of facts. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster]

4. To speak in generalities; to talk in abstract terms. [WordNet sense 1]

Syn: generalise, speak generally. [WordNet 1.5]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Generalize — Gen er*al*ize, v. i. To form into a genus; to view objects in their relations to a genus or class; to take general or comprehensive views. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • generalize — verb assume, conclude, deal in generalities, discuss in the abstract, draw inferences, generatim, hypothesize, ignore distinctions, loqui, make a generalization, suppose, surmise, theorize, universalize, universe Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William …   Law dictionary

  • generalize — 1751, probably a new formation from GENERAL (Cf. general) + IZE (Cf. ize). M.E. had generalisen (early 15c.). Related: Generalizable; generalized; generalizing …   Etymology dictionary

  • generalize — (Amer.) gen·er·al·ize || dÊ’enÉ™rÉ™laɪz v. make general or indefinite statements; form a general principle; conclude, infer; make generally applicable; give a general character to (also generalise) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • generalize — [v] make a sweeping assumption, statement be metaphysical, conclude, derive, discern, discover, establish, hypothesize, induce, observe, philosophize, postulate, speculate, stay in the clouds*, theorize, vapor; concepts 37,49 Ant. except,… …   New thesaurus

  • generalize — (also generalise) ► VERB 1) make a general or broad statement by inferring from specific cases. 2) make more common or more widely applicable. 3) (generalized) Medicine (of a disease) affecting much or all of the body; not localized. DERIVATIVES… …   English terms dictionary

  • generalize — [jen′ər əl īz΄, jen′rəl īz΄] vt. generalized, generalizing [ME generalisen] to make general; esp., a) to state in terms of a general law or precept b) to infer or derive (a general law or precept) from (particular instances) c) to emphasize the… …   English World dictionary

  • generalize — UK [ˈdʒenər(ə)laɪz] / US [ˈdʒen(ə)rəˌlaɪz] verb Word forms generalize : present tense I/you/we/they generalize he/she/it generalizes present participle generalizing past tense generalized past participle generalized 1) a) [intransitive] to make a …   English dictionary

  • generalize — gen|e|ral|ize also generalise BrE [ˈdʒenərəlaız] v 1.) to form a general principle or opinion after considering only a small number of facts or examples generalize from ▪ She has a tendency to generalize from her husband to all men. 2.) [I] to… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • generalize — gen|er|al|ize [ dʒen(ə)rə,laız ] verb 1. ) intransitive to make a statement or remark about a group of people or things without going into any detail: We can generalize and say that most of our students are middle class. a ) to give an opinion… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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