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Definition: General average
, a. [F. g['e]n['e]ral, fr. L. generalis. See
1. Relating to a genus or kind; pertaining to a whole class
or order; as, a general law of animal or vegetable
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. --Milton.
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
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.
(Law), an agent whom a principal employs to
transact all his business of a particular kind, or to act
in his affairs generally.
. See the Note under Assembly
, General Court
. See under Average
(Mil.), the highest military and
naval judicial tribunal.
(Com.), a shopkeeper who deals in all
articles in common use.
(Law), a demurrer which objects to a
pleading in general terms, as insufficient, without
specifying the defects. --Abbott.
, a canonical epistle.
(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.
(Mil.), hospitals established to receive
sick and wounded sent from the field hospitals. --Farrow.
(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.
(Law), a right to detain a chattel, etc.,
until payment is made of any balance due on a general
(Mil.), any officer having a rank above
that of colonel.
(Mil.), orders from headquarters published
to the whole command.
, 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.
, a ship not chartered or let to particular
(Logic), a term which is the sign of a general
conception or notion.
(Law), the ordinary comprehensive verdict
in civil actions, “for the plaintiff”
or “for the
(Law), a warrant, now illegal, to apprehend
suspected persons, without naming individuals.
Syn: Syn. General
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. [OF. average, LL. averagium, prob. fr.
OF. aver, F. avoir, property, horses, cattle, etc.; prop.
infin., to have, from L. habere to have. Cf. F. av['e]rage
small cattle, and avarie (perh. of different origin) damage
to ship or cargo, port dues. The first meaning was perhaps
the service of carting a feudal lord's wheat, then charge for
carriage, the contribution towards loss of things carried, in
proportion to the amount of each person's property. Cf.
, n., Avercorn
1. (OLd Eng. Law) That service which a tenant owed his lord,
to be done by the work beasts of the tenant, as the
carriage of wheat, turf, etc.
2. [Cf. F. avarie damage to ship or cargo.] (Com.)
(a) A tariff or duty on goods, etc. [Obs.]
(b) Any charge in addition to the regular charge for
freight of goods shipped.
(c) A contribution to a loss or charge which has been
imposed upon one of several for the general benefit;
damage done by sea perils.
(d) The equitable and proportionate distribution of loss
or expense among all interested.
, a contribution made, by all parties
concerned in a sea adventure, toward a loss occasioned by
the voluntary sacrifice of the property of some of the
parties in interest for the benefit of all. It is called
general average, because it falls upon the gross amount of
ship, cargo, and freight at risk and saved by the
signifies the damage or partial loss
happening to the ship, or cargo, or freight, in
consequence of some fortuitous or unavoidable accident;
and it is borne by the individual owners of the articles
damaged, or by their insurers.
are sundry small charges, which occur
regularly, and are necessarily defrayed by the master in
the usual course of a voyage; such as port charges, common
pilotage, and the like, which formerly were, and in some
cases still are, borne partly by the ship and partly by
the cargo. In the clause commonly found in bills of
lading, “primage and average accustomed,”
a kind of composition established by usage for such
charges, which were formerly assessed by way of average.
--Arnould. --Abbott. --Phillips.
3. A mean proportion, medial sum or quantity, made out of
unequal sums or quantities; an arithmetical mean. Thus, if
A loses 5 dollars, B 9, and C 16, the sum is 30, and the
4. Any medial estimate or general statement derived from a
comparison of diverse specific cases; a medium or usual
size, quantity, quality, rate, etc. “The average of
5. pl. In the English corn trade, the medial price of the
several kinds of grain in the principal corn markets.
On an average
, taking the mean of unequal numbers or