verb (used with object), gen·er·al·ized, gen·er·al·iz·ing.

  1. to infer (a general principle, trend, etc.) from particular facts, statistics, or the like.
  2. to infer or form (a general principle, opinion, conclusion, etc.) from only a few facts, examples, or the like.
  3. to give a general rather than a specific or special character or form to.
  4. to make general; bring into general use or knowledge.

verb (used without object), gen·er·al·ized, gen·er·al·iz·ing.

  1. to form general principles, opinions, etc.
  2. to deal, think, or speak in generalities.
  3. to make general inferences.


  1. to form (general principles or conclusions) from (detailed facts, experience, etc); infer
  2. (intr) to think or speak in generalities, esp in a prejudiced way
  3. (tr; usually passive) to cause to become widely used or known
  4. (intr) (of a disease)
    1. to spread throughout the body
    2. to change from a localized infection or condition to a systemic onegeneralized infection

1751, probably a new formation from general (adj.) + -ize. Middle English had generalisen (early 15c.). Related: Generalizable; generalized; generalizing.


  1. Involving an entire organ, as when an epileptic seizure involves all parts of the brain.
  2. Not specifically adapted to a particular environment or function; not specialized.
  3. Generally prevalent.


  1. To reduce to a general form, class, or law.
  2. To render indefinite or unspecific.
  3. To infer from many particulars.
  4. To draw inferences or a general conclusion from.
  5. To make generally or universally applicable.
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