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general (Adjective, Noun) "general;" (f.) "general's wife"

13th cent. From Latin generalis 'id.' From genus "class (of people)," "birth" (see género for further etymology) with adjective-forming suffix -alis (see -al (2)).

The use of generala to indicate "general's wife" instead of "general" is due to the profession of general being exclusive to men. Only recently may the feminized word refer to a general.

Romance: Western Vulgar Latin: Portuguese general, Catalan general, French général, Italian generale; Eastern Vulgar Latin: Romanian general