early 15c., "act of setting free from bondage," also "action of handing over to another," from Anglo-French delivrée, noun use of fem. past participle of Old French delivrer (see deliver). Sense of "childbirth, giving forth of offspring" is by 1570s; that of "manner of utterance or enunciation" is from 1660s. Of a blow, throw of a ball, etc., "act of sending or putting forth," from 1702. The hospital's childbirth delivery room is attested by 1849 (in early use often in a German context, translating Kreisszimmer).
late 14c., "whole class of things or persons, a broad classification, a general truth," from general (adj.). Meaning "commander of an army" is 1570s, shortening of captain general, from French capitaine général. The English adjective was affixed to civic officer designations by late 14c. to indicate superior rank and extended jurisdiction.
c. 1200, "of wide application, generic, affecting or involving all" (as opposed to special or specific), from Old French general (12c.) and directly from Latin generalis "relating to all, of a whole class, generic" (contrasted with specialis), from genus (genitive generis) "stock, kind" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups).
What is common is of frequent occurrence. What is general admits of comparatively few exceptions: the general opinion (the opinion of the majority); the general welfare. [J.H.A. Günther, "English Synonyms Explained & Illustrated," Groningen, Netherlands, 1904]
Used in forming titles from late 14c. with the sense "having general authority or jurisdiction, chief." Phrase in general "without exception, in one body; as a rule, generally, not specifically" is from late 14c. General rule, one applying to an art or science as a whole, is from c. 1400. General store attested by 1810, American English, in reference to the range of goods sold; a general hospital (1737) is one not restricted to one class of persons or type of disease.
"goods sold on agreement for future delivery," 1880, from future (n.) in a financial sense "speculative purchase or sale of stock or other commodities for future delivery."
"parturition, delivery in childbed," 1803, from French accouchement, noun of action from accoucher "go to childbed" (see accoucheur). The verb accouche (1867) is a back-formation, or else from French accoucher.