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


n.
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.
But immediately upon this I observed that, whilst I thus wished to think that all was false, it was absolutely necessary that I, who thus thought, should be somewhat; and as I observed that this truth, I think, therefore I am (COGITO ERGO SUM), was so certain and of such evidence that no ground of doubt, however extravagant, could be alleged by the sceptics capable of shaking it, I concluded that I might, without scruple, accept it as the first principle of the philosophy of which I was in search
"We will start, if you please, with a first principle. All bodies whatever that float on the surface of the water displace as much fluid as is equal in weight to the weight of the bodies.
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.
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.
Battle royal was waged, amid the smoking of many cigarettes and the expectoration of much tobacco-juice, wherein the tramp successfully held his own, even when a socialist workman sneered, "There is no god but the Unknowable, and Herbert Spencer is his prophet." Martin was puzzled as to what the discussion was about, but when he rode on to the library he carried with him a new-born interest in Herbert Spencer, and because of the frequency with which the tramp had mentioned "First Principles," Martin drew out that volume.
This renders a full display of the principal defects of the Confederation necessary, in order to show that the evils we experience do not proceed from minute or partial imperfections, but from fundamental errors in the structure of the building, which cannot be amended otherwise than by an alteration in the first principles and main pillars of the fabric.
Bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws impairing the obligation of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation.
Duncan had just placed the glass in a good light; and Duncan's master was at that turning point in his daily life which consisted in attaining, or not attaining, absolute perfection in the tying of his white cravat--when some outer barbarian, ignorant of the first principles of dressing a gentleman's throat, presumed to knock at the bedroom door.
But, instead of proposals for conquering that magnanimous nation, I rather wish they were in a capacity, or disposition, to send a sufficient number of their inhabitants for civilizing Europe, by teaching us the first principles of honour, justice, truth, temperance, public spirit, fortitude, chastity, friendship, benevolence, and fidelity.

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