gen·er·al·ize v. t. [imp. & p. p. Generalized p. pr. & vb. n. Generalizing ] [Also spelled generalise.]
1. To bring under a genus or under genera; to view in relation to a genus or to genera.
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.
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.
When a fact is generalized, our discontent is quited, and we consider the generality itself as tantamount to an explanation. --Sir W. Hamilton.
3. To derive or deduce (a general conception, or a general principle) from particulars. [wns=2]
Syn: -- generalize, extrapolate, infer.
A mere conclusion generalized from a great multitude of facts. --Coleridge.
Gen·er·al·ized a. Zool. Comprising structural characters which are separated in more specialized forms; synthetic; as, a generalized type.
adj 1: not biologically differentiated or adapted to a specific
function or environment; "the hedgehog is a primitive
and generalized mammal" [syn: generalised]
2: made general; widely prevalent; "a problem of generalized
human needs"; "a state of generalized discontent" [syn: generalised]
3: spread throughout a body or system; "generalized edema"