This question already has an answer here:

I saw this question What's the difference between "general" and "generic"? but it did not make it clear for me.

I named a music folder like "General music". It includes music of different artist and genres. Would it be better to name it "Generic music" or in this context they are completely interchangeable?

marked as duplicate by lbf, Mitch, Tonepoet, jimm101, Davo Sep 11 at 14:41

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • There are no exact synonyms. That said, though these are closely related semantically and etymologically, they mean different enough things such that using one for the other would be misleading. – Mitch Sep 11 at 14:02
  • 3
    Possible duplicate of What's the difference between "general" and "generic"? . Any answer to this question here should be made at that question. If it wasn't clear over there, then comment to that effect there and bump the question to attract answers that might be clearer for you. – Mitch Sep 11 at 14:03
  • 1
    In this context, 'general' means covering a broad set, and 'generic' means 'typical'. That is, the items in the general music category don't have any particular sub-category of music to assign to, and items in the generic music category are very typical music, likely not noteworthy. – Mitch Sep 11 at 14:07
  • The concept between duplicate closure is somewhat more complicated than simply reading the question and seeing that none of the existing answers makes sense. We need a reason to believe that good answers to this question wouldn't be better filed under the other question, and naming questions are generally off-topic, so this example does not persuade me that the question isn't a duplicate, for all practical intents and purposes – Tonepoet Sep 11 at 14:09

"Generic" describes as being non-specific. When defining genre, a generic song wouldn't qualify as pop, rock, rap, country, or what have you because a generic song doesn't fit a specific genre. Depending on what you're trying to qualify, generic might be describing something different, such as mood or activity, instead of genre. When describing music, it would have a negative connotation, implying the music doesn't have any particular qualities that stand out.

"General" means it applies in most cases. If there's a song you like to listen to regardless of mood or activity, then calling it a "general song" would be appropriate.


according to my perception, "generic" is an adjective which refers to the characteristics of a class or a group of sth. This word is often used as a substitute to "general." however, the "general" is the more wide and universal term. in contrast, generic is not universal rather can be used for specific characteristics in general.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.