generalism

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From general +‎ -ism; compare generalist.

Noun[edit]

generalism (plural generalisms)

  1. Generalization: lack of specialization.
    • 2006 January 17, Adam Nicolson, “Where have all our hedgehogs gone?”, in The Guardian:
      What the biologists call the hedgehog's generalism, its lack of slick speciality, the way it noses for beetles, caterpillars, earwigs and worms, sometimes eating frogs, baby mice, eggs and chicks, its happy existence at the bottom of hedges and in people's back gardens, its inability to cope with very large, chemically denuded arable fields - in other words its fondness for the private, the scruffy and the marginal - all make it a measure of the state of the landscape's health as a whole.
    • 2001 May 11, Mark E. J. Woolhouse et al."Population Biology of Multihost Pathogens", in the journal Science V.292, Isuue 5519, pp.1109-1112
      Factors that predispose pathogens to generalism include high levels of genetic diversity and abundant opportunities for cross-species transmission, and the taxonomic distributions of generalists and specialists appear to reflect these factors.

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