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1. First or highest in rank or importance. See Synonyms at chief.
2. Of, relating to, or being financial principal, or a principal in a financial transaction.
a. One who holds a position of presiding rank, especially the head of an elementary school, middle school, or high school.
b. A main participant in a situation, especially a financial transaction.
c. A person having a leading or starring role in a performance, such as the first player in a section of an orchestra.
a. An amount of capital originally borrowed or invested, as opposed to the interest paid or accruing on it.
b. The most significant part of an estate, as opposed to minor or incidental components.
3. Law
a. The person on behalf of whom an agent acts.
b. The person having prime responsibility for an obligation as distinguished from one who acts as surety or as an endorser.
c. The main actor in the perpetration of a crime.
4. Architecture Either of a pair of inclined timbers forming the sides of a triangular truss for a pitched roof.

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

prin′ci·pal·ly adv.
prin′ci·pal·ship′ n.
Usage Note: Principal and principle are often confused but have no meanings in common. Principle is only a noun and usually refers to a rule or standard. Principal is both a noun and an adjective. As a noun, it has specialized meanings in law and finance, but in general usage it refers to a person who holds a high position or plays an important role: a meeting among all the principals in the transaction. As an adjective it has the sense of "chief" or "leading": The coach's principal concern is the quarterback's health.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.principalship - the post of principal
berth, billet, post, situation, position, office, place, spot - a job in an organization; "he occupied a post in the treasury"
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References in classic literature ?
I've been offered the principalship of the Summerside High School.
It was during Louis Carus' principalship, and we had to start to argue to develop composition as a second-study subject, and then gradually it became arguable that it would be suitable as a first-study subject.
I've told this story before because it illustrates one of the most hazardous adjuster mistakes: undisclosed principalship.
He was the lead consultant and author of ASCD's video series on principalship.
So when they ascend to the principalship or the superintendency, they are more likely to have a doctorate and more years of teaching or principal experience.
In order to fully appreciate the challenges faced by small rural and remote principals in Jamaica, it is necessary to discuss contextual issues concerning the changing nature of the principalship, the issues that confront rural Jamaica at the current time and the distinctive characteristics of the principalship in rural settings.
During his principalship, he never allowed to postpone exams and condensed the MBBS course to five years which had been extended to seven years after many and often postponements, he claimed.
Based on this rationale, Fullan's goal for the reader is to reposition the role of the principal as the instructional leader and to rethink the principalship in order to put the principal in a position to proceed more confidently in this uncertain era.
Morgan's position as principal of Chocksett Middle School was combined with the principalship of Houghton Elementary School.
of Melbourne, Australia) compile 17 stories behind the research for the International Successful School Principalship Project, for school principals and researchers.
The principalship can be a lonely and isolating job if you allow it.
NAESP seeks to advance the principalship and address issues in pre-K3 alignment, principal preparation and evaluation, and building the capacity of new principals.