Definition of principle
1a : a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumptionb (1) : a rule or code of conduct (2) : habitual devotion to right principles a man of principlec : the laws or facts of nature underlying the working of an artificial device
2 : a primary source : origin
4 capitalized, Christian Science : a divine principle : god
: with respect to fundamentals prepared to accept the proposition in principle
principle vs. principal
Although nearly every handbook and many dictionaries warn against confusing principle and principal, many people still do. Principle is only a noun; principal is both adjective and noun. If you are unsure which noun you want, read the definitions in this dictionary.
Examples of principle in a Sentence
Urban guerrilla warfare was futile against a thermonuclear superstate that would stop at nothing to defend the profit principle. —Philip Roth, American Pastoral, 1997
Better, of course, to take a higher road, operate on the principle of service and see if things don't turn out better … —Richard Ford, Independence Day, 1995
Pointlessness was life's principle, and it spread its sadness. —Arthur Miller, Timebends, 1987
His investment strategy is based on the principle that the stock market offers the best returns for long-term investors.
the basic principles of hydraulics
Recent Examples of principle from the Web
And above all, where Bush had sometimes reached for the center, True Conservatism would stand on principle, fight hard, and win.
Call it the George Costanza principle: Even on an airplane, 'we’re living in a society!'
This approach goes against the operating principles of global financial markets: clarity and timely transparency.
Yet Malcolm’s political vision was never complete like that of Martin Luther King, who hewed faithfully to his central principle, the one he is known for today—his commitment to nonviolence.
The core principle of this deal is that Democrats didn't have to touch entitlements and Republicans didn't have to touch taxes.
Resolve, now, before other financial commitments are made, to spend at least one year quietly learning the principles of financial management.
Ahmadinejad represents the last-gasp hope of the Principlist Faction — that aging, first-generation cohort that seeks to revive the revolution's animating principles among succeeding generations.
Birds sing, or the garbage truck rumbles by--the principle is the same.
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Origin and Etymology of principle
Middle English, from Middle French principe, principle, from Old French, from Latin principium beginning, from princip-, princeps initiator — more at prince
First Known Use: 14th century
PRINCIPLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of principle for English Language Learners
: a moral rule or belief that helps you know what is right and wrong and that influences your actions
: a basic truth or theory : an idea that forms the basis of something
: a law or fact of nature that explains how something works or why something happens
PRINCIPLE Defined for Kids
Definition of principle for Students
1 : a general or basic truth on which other truths or theories can be based scientific principles
2 : a rule of conduct based on beliefs of what is right and wrong
3 : a law or fact of nature which makes possible the working of a machine or device the principle of magnetism
Medical Definition of principle
1: a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption
2: an ingredient (as a chemical) that exhibits or imparts a characteristic quality the active principle of a drug
Seen and Heard
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