Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Etymology 1[edit]

Capitalization of general.


General (uncountable)

  1. (military) The military officer title

Etymology 2[edit]

Ellipsis of General Hospital

Proper noun[edit]


  1. (informal, medicine) Short for General Hospital. or "X General Hospital" (where X is a stand-in for another part of the name), a common hospital name.



German Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia de


Partly via Middle High German general, partly via French général, from Latin generalis.


  • IPA(key): /ˌɡe(ː).nəˈʁaːl/ (standard)
  • IPA(key): /ˌɡɛ.nəˈʁaːl/ (alternatively in common speech)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aːl


General m (genitive Generals or Generales, plural Generäle or Generale)

  1. (military) general (officer in any general rank)
  2. (military) general (officer in a specific general rank, usually the highest)
  3. (Roman Catholicism) general (head of an order)

Usage notes[edit]

  • The two military senses exist alongside each other. In the German Bundeswehr, all army and air-force officers above the rank of colonel (Oberst) are referred to as Generale and each of them is addressed as Herr General. At the same time, General is a specific rank, namely the highest existing rank, typically held by the inspector general and at most one or two other generals.
  • The plural is Generale in the Bundeswehr’s official terminology, but more commonly Generäle otherwise. Singular forms with -e- (des Generales, dem Generale) are exceedingly rare.


Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]