first principle

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first principle

n (usually plural)
1. (Logic) one of the fundamental assumptions on which a particular theory or procedure is thought to be based
2. (Logic) an axiom of a mathematical or scientific theory

first′ prin′ciple

any axiom, law, or abstraction assumed and regarded as representing the highest possible degree of generalization.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.first principle - the elementary stages of any subject (usually plural)first principle - the elementary stages of any subject (usually plural); "he mastered only the rudiments of geometry"
basic principle, fundamental principle, fundamentals, basics, bedrock - principles from which other truths can be derived; "first you must learn the fundamentals"; "let's get down to basics"
plural, plural form - the form of a word that is used to denote more than one
References in classic literature ?
The Plot, then, is the first principle, and, as it were, the soul of a tragedy: Character holds the second place.
We will start, if you please, with a first principle.
And God proclaims as a first principle to the rulers, and above all else, that there is nothing which should so anxiously guard, or of which they are to be such good guardians, as of the purity of the race.
The spark - a feeble spark, first principle of conflagration - shone in the darkness like a glow-worm, then was deadened against the match which it set fire to, Porthos enlivening the flame with his breath.
Tell me, then, whether you agree with and assent to my first principle, that neither injury nor retaliation nor warding off evil by evil is ever right.
The weak and ill-constituted shall perish: first principle of our charity.
It was the first principle of Marie's belief that nobody ever was or could be so great a sufferer as herself; and, therefore, she always repelled quite indignantly any suggestion that any one around her could be sick.
Your Ladyship is not aware of the first principle to be adopted in cases of suspicion.
good Mistress Germaine or yourself were to fall down dead in another moment, I, doctor as I am, could no more explain what first principle of life and movement had been suddenly extinguished in you than the dog there sleeping on the hearth-rug.
But to represent the Almighty as avenging the sins of the guilty on the innocent, was indecent, if not blasphemous, as it was to represent him acting against the first principles of natural justice, and against the original notions of right and wrong, which he himself had implanted in our minds; by which we were to judge not only in all matters which were not revealed, but even of the truth of revelation itself.
Levin had come across the magazine articles about which they were disputing, and had read them, interested in them as a development of the first principles of science, familiar to him as a natural science student at the university.
He then violently attacked the labors of the Gun Club, published a number of letters in the newspapers, endeavored to prove Barbicane ignorant of the first principles of gunnery.

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