principle


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prin·ci·ple

 (prĭn′sə-pəl)
n.
1. A basic truth, law, or assumption: the principles of democracy.
2.
a. A rule or standard, especially of good behavior: a man of principle.
b. The collectivity of moral or ethical standards or judgments: a decision based on principle rather than expediency.
3. A fixed or predetermined policy or mode of action.
4. A basic or essential quality or element determining intrinsic nature or characteristic behavior: the principle of self-preservation.
5. A rule or law concerning the functioning of natural phenomena or mechanical processes: the principle of jet propulsion.
6. Chemistry One of the elements that compose a substance, especially one that gives some special quality or effect.
7. A basic source. See Usage Note at principal.
Idioms:
in principle
With regard to the basics: an idea that is acceptable in principle.
on principle
According to or because of principle.

[Middle English, alteration of Old French principe, from Latin prīncipium, from prīnceps, prīncip-, leader, emperor; see per in Indo-European roots.]

principle

(ˈprɪnsɪpəl)
n
1. a standard or rule of personal conduct: a man of principle.
2. (often plural) a set of such moral rules: he'd stoop to anything; he has no principles.
3. adherence to such a moral code; morality: it's not the money but the principle of the thing; torn between principle and expediency.
4. a fundamental or general truth or law: first principles.
5. the essence of something: the male principle.
6. a source or fundamental cause; origin: principle of life.
7. (General Physics) a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the behaviour of a system: the principle of the conservation of mass.
8. an underlying or guiding theory or belief: the hereditary principle; socialist principles.
9. (Chemistry) chem a constituent of a substance that gives the substance its characteristics and behaviour: bitter principle.
10. in principle in theory or essence
11. on principle because of or in demonstration of a principle
[C14: from Latin principium beginning, basic tenet]
Usage: Principle and principal are often confused: the principal (not principle) reason for his departure; the plan was approved in principle (not in principal)

Principle

(ˈprɪnsɪpəl)
n
(Theology) Christian Science another word for God

prin•ci•ple

(ˈprɪn sə pəl)

n.
1. an accepted or professed rule of action or conduct.
2. a fundamental law, axiom, or doctrine: the principles of physics.
3. principles, a personal or specific basis of conduct or management: to adhere to one's principles.
4. a guiding sense of the requirements and obligations of right conduct: a person of principle.
5. a rule or law exemplified in natural phenomena, the operation of a machine, or the like: the principle of capillary attraction.
6. the method of formation, operation, or procedure exhibited in a given instance: a family organized on the patriarchal principle.
7. a determining characteristic of something; essential quality.
8. an originating or actuating agency or force: Growth is the principle of life.
9. Chem. a constituent of a substance, esp. one giving to it some distinctive quality or effect.
Idioms:
1. in principle, in essence; fundamentally.
2. on principle,
a. according to rules for right and moral conduct.
b. according to habit or self-imposed regulations.
[1350–1400; Middle English, alter. of Middle French principe or Latin prīncipium]
usage: See principal.

principal

principle
1. 'principal'

Principal can be an adjective or a noun.

The principal thing or person in a group is the most important one.

His principal interest in life was money.
The principal character in the film was played by John Hurt.

The principal of a school or college is the person in charge of it.

The teacher sent me to the principal's office.
Lodge was Principal of Birmingham University.
2. 'principle'

Principle is always a noun. A principle is a general rule that someone's behaviour or ideas are based on.

She did not eat meat because it was against her principles.
We follow the principle that everyone should be treated equally.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.principle - a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conductprinciple - a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct; "their principles of composition characterized all their works"
generalisation, generality, generalization - an idea or conclusion having general application; "he spoke in broad generalities"
pillar - a fundamental principle or practice; "science eroded the pillars of superstition"
yang - the bright positive masculine principle in Chinese dualistic cosmology; "yin and yang together produce everything that comes into existence"
yin - the dark negative feminine principle in Chinese dualistic cosmology; "the interaction of yin and yang maintains the harmony of the universe"
feng shui - rules in Chinese philosophy that govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to patterns of yin and yang and the flow of energy (qi); the favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into consideration in designing and siting buildings and graves and furniture
2.principle - a rule or standard especially of good behavior; "a man of principle"; "he will not violate his principles"
value - an ideal accepted by some individual or group; "he has old-fashioned values"
accounting principle, accounting standard - a principle that governs current accounting practice and that is used as a reference to determine the appropriate treatment of complex transactions
knightliness, chivalry - the medieval principles governing knighthood and knightly conduct
ethic, moral principle, value orientation, value-system - the principles of right and wrong that are accepted by an individual or a social group; "the Puritan ethic"; "a person with old-fashioned values"
Hellenism - the principles and ideals associated with classical Greek civilization
judicial doctrine, judicial principle, legal principle - (law) a principle underlying the formulation of jurisprudence
scruple - an ethical or moral principle that inhibits action
3.principle - a basic truth or law or assumption; "the principles of democracy"
natural law, law - a rule or body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society
dictate - a guiding principle; "the dictates of reason"
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"
logic - the principles that guide reasoning within a given field or situation; "economic logic requires it"; "by the logic of war"
pleasure principle, pleasure-pain principle, pleasure-unpleasure principle - (psychoanalysis) the governing principle of the id; the principle that an infant seeks gratification and fails to distinguish fantasy from reality
reality principle - (psychoanalysis) the governing principle of the ego; the principle that as a child grows it becomes aware of the real environment and the need to accommodate to it
insurrectionism - the principle of revolt against constituted authority
conservation - (physics) the maintenance of a certain quantities unchanged during chemical reactions or physical transformations
Tao - the ultimate principle of the universe
4.principle - a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the function of a complex system; "the principle of the conservation of mass"; "the principle of jet propulsion"; "the right-hand rule for inductive fields"
law of nature, law - a generalization that describes recurring facts or events in nature; "the laws of thermodynamics"
Gestalt law of organization, Gestalt principle of organization - a principle of Gestalt psychology that identifies factors leading to particular forms of perceptual organization
Le Chatelier principle, Le Chatelier-Braun principle, Le Chatelier's law, Le Chatelier's principle - the principle that if any change is imposed on a system that is in equilibrium then the system tends to adjust to a new equilibrium counteracting the change
Gresham's Law - (economics) the principle that when two kinds of money having the same denominational value are in circulation the intrinsically more valuable money will be hoarded and the money of lower intrinsic value will circulate more freely until the intrinsically more valuable money is driven out of circulation; bad money drives out good; credited to Sir Thomas Gresham
mass-energy equivalence - (physics) the principle that a measured quantity of mass is equivalent (according to relativity theory) to a measured quantity of energy
Naegele's rule - rule for calculating an expected delivery date; subtract three months from the first day of the last menstrual period and add seven days to that date
law of parsimony, Occam's Razor, Ockham's Razor, principle of parsimony - the principle that entities should not be multiplied needlessly; the simplest of two competing theories is to be preferred
principle of equivalence - (physics) the principle that an observer has no way of distinguishing whether his laboratory is in a uniform gravitational field or is in an accelerated frame of reference
principle of liquid displacement - (hydrostatics) the volume of a body immersed in a fluid is equal to the volume of the displaced fluid
Huygens' principle of superposition, principle of superposition - the displacement of any point due to the superposition of wave systems is equal to the sum of the displacements of the individual waves at that point; "the principle of superposition is the basis of the wave theory of light"
principle of superposition, superposition principle, superposition - (geology) the principle that in a series of stratified sedimentary rocks the lowest stratum is the oldest
mass action, mass-action principle - (neurology) the principle that the cortex of the brain operates as a coordinated system with large masses of neural tissue involved in all complex functioning
localisation, localisation of function, localisation principle, localization of function, localization principle, localization - (physiology) the principle that specific functions have relatively circumscribed locations in some particular part or organ of the body
5.principle - 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
6.principle - (law) an explanation of the fundamental reasons (especially an explanation of the working of some device in terms of laws of nature); "the rationale for capital punishment"; "the principles of internal-combustion engines"
explanation - thought that makes something comprehensible
dialectics - a rationale for dialectical materialism based on change through the conflict of opposing forces
law, jurisprudence - the collection of rules imposed by authority; "civilization presupposes respect for the law"; "the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order"

principle

noun
1. morals, standards, ideals, honour, virtue, ethics, integrity, conscience, morality, decency, scruples, probity, rectitude, moral standards, sense of duty, moral law, sense of honour, uprightness He would never compromise his principles. They had great trust in him as a man of principle.
2. belief, rule, standard, attitude, code, notion, criterion, ethic, doctrine, canon, creed, maxim, dogma, tenet, dictum, credo, axiom a violation of the basic principles of Marxism
3. rule, idea, law, theory, basis, truth, concept, formula, fundamental, assumption, essence, proposition, verity, golden rule, precept the principles of quantum theory
in principle
5. in theory, ideally, on paper, theoretically, in an ideal world, en principe (French) In principle, it should be possible.
Quotations
"It is always easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them" [Alfred Adler]
Usage: Principle and principal are often confused: the principal (not principle) reason for his departure; the plan was approved in principle (not principal).

principle

noun
1. A broad and basic rule or truth:
2. Moral or ethical strength:
Translations
قاعِدَهمَبْدأمَبْدَأ
principzákonzásada
principlæresætning
põhimõte
periaateperusoletusperusteprinsiippitoimintaperiaate
princip
elvalapelv
grundvallaratriîi; lögmállögmál
主義信念原則原理行動指針
원칙
iš principoįsitikinimaiprincipaiprincipas
likumsprincips
princíp
načelnonačelov načelu
princip
หลักปฏิบัติ
nguyên tắc

principle

[ˈprɪnsəpl] N (gen, Sci) → principio m
the basic principles of physicslos principios básicos de física
the principle thatel principio según el cual ...
to lay it down as a principle thatsentar el principio de que ...
it is or it goes against my principlesva (en) contra (de) mis principios
to go back to first principlesvolver a los principios (fundamentales)
to argue from first principlesconstruir un argumento sobre los principios (fundamentales)
to have high principlestener principios nobles
in principleen principio
to reach an agreement in principlellegar a un acuerdo de principio or en principio
I make it a principle never to lend moneytengo por norma no prestar nunca dinero, yo, por principio, nunca presto dinero
as a matter of principlepor principio
it's a matter of principlees cuestión de principios
a man/woman of (high) principlesun hombre/una mujer de principios (nobles)
on principlepor principio, por una cuestión de principios
it's the principle of the thinges cuestión de principios
see also guiding

principle

[ˈprɪnsɪpəl]
n
(= belief) → principe m
a matter of principle → une question de principe
on principle → par principe
to do sth on principle → faire qch par principe
in principle (= in theory) → en principe
In principle, there's nothing to stop you → En principe, rien ne t'en empêche.
to agree to sth in principle (= in general terms) [person] → être d'accord avec le principe de qch
I wish to know if you agree in principle to the idea → J'aimerais savoir si vous êtes d'accord avec le principe.; [people] → se mettre d'accord sur le principe de qch
They have agreed in principle to the plan → Ils se sont mis d'accord sur le principe du projet.
to approve sth in principle (= in general terms) → approuver le principe de qch
The draft had been welcomed in principle by local authorities → Le principe de l'avant-projet a été bien accueilli par les autorités locales. principles
npl
[religion, ideology] → principes mpl
[theory, science] → principes mpl

principle

n
Prinzip nt; to go back to first principleszu den Grundlagen zurückgehen
(= moral precept)Prinzip nt, → Grundsatz m; (no pl: = integrity) → Prinzipien pl, → Grundsätze pl; in/on principleim/aus Prinzip, prinzipiell; a man of principle(s)ein Mensch mit or von Prinzipien or Grundsätzen; it’s against my principleses geht gegen meine Prinzipien; it’s a matter of principle, it’s the principle of the thinges geht dabei ums Prinzip; I’m doing it for reasons of principleich tue das aus Prinzip
(= basic element)Element nt

principle

[ˈprɪnsəpl] nprincipio
in principle → in linea di principio
on principle → per principio
it's a matter of principle, it's the principle of the thing → è una questione di principio
a man of principle → un uomo di saldi principi
it's against my principles → è contrario ai miei principi
to go back to first principles (fig) → tornare alle origini

principle

(ˈprinsəpəl) noun
1. a general truth, rule or law. the principle of gravity.
2. the theory by which a machine etc works. the principle of the jet engine.
ˈprinciples noun plural
one's own personal rules or standards of behaviour. It is against my principles to borrow money.
in principle
in general, as opposed to in detail.
on principle
because of one's principles. I never borrow money, on principle.

high moral principles (not principals).

principle

مَبْدَأ princip princip Prinzip αρχή principio periaate principe princip principio 主義 원칙 principe prinsipp zasada princípio принцип princip หลักปฏิบัติ ilke nguyên tắc 原则

prin·ci·ple

n. principio.
ingrediente esencial de un compuesto químico;
regla; orden.

principle

n principio; pleasure — principio del placer
References in classic literature ?
As a matter of principle they did just enough work in their classes to avoid pun- ishment.
I like not the principle of the natives, which teaches them to submit without a struggle, in emergencies that appear desperate," he said, while busied in this employment; "our own maxim, which says, 'while life remains there is hope', is more consoling, and better suited to a soldier's temperament.
I know a little of the principle of design, and I know this thing was not arranged on any laws of radiation, or alternation, or repetition, or symmetry, or anything else that I ever heard of.
He had a monkey on his shoulder, dressed in a Highland plaid; and, to complete the sum of splendid attractions wherewith he presented himself to the public, there was a company of little figures, whose sphere and habitation was in the mahogany case of his organ, and whose principle of life was the music which the Italian made it his business to grind out.
They were allowed, on my representation, to rest from their arduous labours, and soon afterwards -- as if their sole principle of life had been zeal for their country's service -- as I verily believe it was -- withdrew to a better world.
I do really delight in your society, and I only want to show you that I contended for a principle.
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.
If I say, that in any creature breathing is only a function indispensable to vitality, inasmuch as it withdraws from the air a certain element, which being subsequently brought into contact with the blood imparts to the blood its vivifying principle, I do not think I shall err; though I may possibly use some superfluous scientific words.
Now, there was Tom Loker, my old partner, down in Natchez; he was a clever fellow, Tom was, only the very devil with niggers,--on principle 't was, you see, for a better hearted feller never broke bread; 't was his system, sir.
This principle being admitted, the justice of every particular case of resistance is reduced to a computation of the quantity of the danger and grievance on the one side, and of the probability and expense of redressing it on the other.
In the very aspect of those primitive and rugged trees there was, methinks, a tanning principle which hardened and consolidated the fibers of men's thoughts.
He hasn't any more principle than a blue jay; and as for morals, he's empty.