precept

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pre·cept

 (prē′sĕpt′)
n.
1. A rule or principle prescribing a particular course of action or conduct.
2. Law A direction or order issued by an authority; a writ, command, or process.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin praeceptum, from neuter past participle of praecipere, to advise, teach : prae-, pre- + capere, to take; see kap- in Indo-European roots.]

precept

(ˈpriːsɛpt)
n
1. a rule or principle for action
2. a guide or rule for morals; maxim
3. a direction, esp for a technical operation
4. (Law) law
a. a writ or warrant
b. a written order to a sheriff to arrange an election, the empanelling of a jury, etc
c. (in England) an order to collect money under a rate
[C14: from Latin praeceptum maxim, injunction, from praecipere to admonish, from prae before + capere to take]

pre•cept

(ˈpri sɛpt)

n.
1. a commandment or direction given as a rule of action or conduct.
2. an injunction as to moral conduct; maxim.
3. a direction for performing a technical operation.
4. Law. a written order issued pursuant to law.
[Middle English < Latin praeceptum piece of advice, rule, n. use of neuter of praeceptus, past participle of praecipere to direct, foresee]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.precept - rule of personal conduct
prescript, rule - prescribed guide for conduct or action
higher law - a principle that takes precedent over the laws of society
moral principle - the principle that conduct should be moral
hypothetical imperative - a principle stating the action required to attain a desired goal
ethical code, ethic - a system of principles governing morality and acceptable conduct
caveat emptor - a commercial principle that without a warranty the buyer takes upon himself the risk of quality
2.precept - a doctrine that is taught; "the teachings of religion"; "he believed all the Christian precepts"
doctrine, ism, philosophical system, philosophy, school of thought - a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school
Golden Rule - a command based on Jesus' words in the Sermon on the Mount; "Whatsoever ye would that men do unto you, do you even so unto them" (Matthew 7:12)
mitsvah, mitzvah - (Judaism) a precept or commandment of the Jewish law

precept

noun
2. maxim, saying, rule, principle, guideline, motto, dictum, axiom, byword the precept, `If a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well'

precept

noun
A principle governing affairs within or among political units:
Translations
ohjeohjenuorasääntö
gedragsregelprinciperegel

precept

[ˈpriːsept] Nprecepto m

precept

[ˈpriːsɛpt] nprécepte m

precept

nGrundsatz m, → Prinzip nt

precept

[ˈpriːsɛpt] nprecetto
References in classic literature ?
She now commenced to practise her husband's precepts.
In almshouse, hospital, and jail, in misery's every refuge, where vain man in his little brief authority had not made fast the door and barred the Spirit out, he left his blessing, and taught Scrooge his precepts.
I did not fail to assure him that I would store these precepts in my mind, though indeed I had no need to do so, for, at the time, they affected me visibly.
Let us suppose an inhabitant of some remote and superior region, yet unskilled in the ways of men, having read and considered the precepts of the gospel, and the example of our Saviour, to come down in search of the true church: if he would not inquire after it among the cruel, the insolent, and the oppressive; among those who are continually grasping at dominion over souls as well as bodies; among those who are employed in procuring to themselves impunity for the most enormous villainies, and studying methods of destroying their fellow-creatures, not for their crimes but their errors; if he would not expect to meet benevolence, engage in massacres, or to find mercy in a court of inquisition, he would not look for the true church in the Church of Rome.
If thou followest these precepts and rules, Sancho, thy days will be long, thy fame eternal, thy reward abundant, thy felicity unutterable; thou wilt marry thy children as thou wouldst; they and thy grandchildren will bear titles; thou wilt live in peace and concord with all men; and, when life draws to a close, death will come to thee in calm and ripe old age, and the light and loving hands of thy great-grandchildren will close thine eyes.
They who set themselves to give precepts must of course regard themselves as possessed of greater skill than those to whom they prescribe; and if they err in the slightest particular, they subject themselves to censure.
If, therefore, all the steps taken by the duke be considered, it will be seen that he laid solid foundations for his future power, and I do not consider it superfluous to discuss them, because I do not know what better precepts to give a new prince than the example of his actions; and if his dispositions were of no avail, that was not his fault, but the extraordinary and extreme malignity of fortune.
Then the orator sketched for our benefit some terrible instances of such incontinence, and concluded by informing us that for some time past he had been mending his own ways, and conducting himself in exemplary fashion, for the reason that he had perceived the justice of his son's precepts, and had laid them to heart so well that he, the father, had really changed for the better: in proof whereof, he now begged to present to the said son some books for which he had long been setting aside his savings.
At the end of that period, if I shall have discovered any new precepts of happiness better than what Heaven has already taught you, they shall assuredly be given to the world.
He exerted himself, during his sojourn among this simple and well-disposed people, to inculcate, as far as he was able, the gentle and humanizing precepts of the Christian faith, and to make them acquainted with the leading points of its history; and it speaks highly for the purity and benignity of his heart, that he derived unmixed happiness from the task.
In spite of his wisdom, he could not find fault with her for her overindulgence of the children, who had managed to convert Dinah the preacher, before whom a circle of rough men had often trembled a little, into a convenient household slave--though Dinah herself was rather ashamed of this weakness, and had some inward conflict as to her departure from the precepts of Solomon.
They seemed to be governed by that sort of tacit common-sense law which, say what they will of the inborn lawlessness of the human race, has its precepts graven on every breast.