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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