1. One who holds an office; a person lawfully invested with an office, whether civil, military, or ecclesiastical; as, a church officer; a police officer; a staff officer. “I am an officer of state.”
2. U. S. Mil. Specifically, a commissioned officer, in distinction from a warrant officer or an enlisted man.
Field officer, General officer, etc. See under Field, General. etc.
Officer of the day Mil., the officer who, on a given day, has charge for that day of the guard, prisoners, and police of the post or camp; abbreviated O. D., OD, or O. O. D.
Officer of the deck, or Officer of the watch Naut., the officer temporarily in charge on the deck of a vessel, esp. a war vessel.
1. Relating to a genus or kind; pertaining to a whole class or order; as, a general law of animal or vegetable economy.
2. Comprehending many species or individuals; not special or particular; including all particulars; as, a general inference or conclusion.
3. Not restrained or limited to a precise import; not specific; vague; indefinite; lax in signification; as, a loose and general expression.
4. Common to many, or the greatest number; widely spread; prevalent; extensive, though not universal; as, a general opinion; a general custom.
This general applause and cheerful shout
Argue your wisdom and your love to Richard. --Shak.
5. Having a relation to all; common to the whole; as, Adam, our general sire.
6. As a whole; in gross; for the most part.
His general behavior vain, ridiculous. --Shak.
7. Usual; common, on most occasions; as, his general habit or method.
Note: ☞ The word general, annexed to a name of office, usually denotes chief or superior; as, attorney-general; adjutant general; commissary general; quartermaster general; vicar-general, etc.
General agent Law, an agent whom a principal employs to transact all his business of a particular kind, or to act in his affairs generally.
General assembly. See the Note under Assembly.
General average, General Court. See under Average, Court.
General court-martial Mil., the highest military and naval judicial tribunal.
General dealer Com., a shopkeeper who deals in all articles in common use.
General demurrer Law, a demurrer which objects to a pleading in general terms, as insufficient, without specifying the defects. --Abbott.
General epistle, a canonical epistle.
General guides Mil., two sergeants (called the right, and the left, general guide) posted opposite the right and left flanks of an infantry battalion, to preserve accuracy in marching. --Farrow.
General hospitals Mil., hospitals established to receive sick and wounded sent from the field hospitals. --Farrow. General issue Law, an issue made by a general plea, which traverses the whole declaration or indictment at once, without offering any special matter to evade it. --Bouvier. --Burrill.
General lien Law, a right to detain a chattel, etc., until payment is made of any balance due on a general account.
General officer Mil., any officer having a rank above that of colonel.
General orders Mil., orders from headquarters published to the whole command.
General practitioner, in the United States, one who practices medicine in all its branches without confining himself to any specialty; in England, one who practices both as physician and as surgeon.
General ship, a ship not chartered or let to particular parties.
General term Logic, a term which is the sign of a general conception or notion.
General verdict Law, the ordinary comprehensive verdict in civil actions, “for the plaintiff” or “for the defendant”. --Burrill.
General warrant Law, a warrant, now illegal, to apprehend suspected persons, without naming individuals.
Syn: General, Common, Universal.
Usage: Common denotes primarily that in which many share; and hence, that which is often met with. General is stronger, denoting that which pertains to a majority of the individuals which compose a genus, or whole. Universal, that which pertains to all without exception. To be able to read and write is so common an attainment in the United States, that we may pronounce it general, though by no means universal.
n : officers in the army or air force or marines above the rank