Definition of precept in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpriːsɛpt/


1A general rule intended to regulate behaviour or thought: the legal precept of being innocent until proven guilty [mass noun]: children learn far more by example than by precept
More example sentences
  • The general structural and moral precepts around which these relationships are constituted are evident at certain stages of beer drinks.
  • But this does not mean that the Prince is amoral; it merely indicates that he was honest enough to face the difficulty of adjusting political behaviour to moral precepts.
  • It then promotes this into a moral precept for life in general.
principle, rule, tenet, canon, code, doctrine, guideline, working principle, law, ordinance, statute, command, order, decree, mandate, dictate, dictum, directive, direction, instruction, injunction, prescription, commandment;
Judaism  mitzvah
rare prescript
2A writ or warrant: the Commissioner issued precepts requiring the companies to provide information
More example sentences
  • ‘I do not think the electorate will wear very large precepts from police authorities any more than they would wear very large precepts from local authorities,’ he said.
3British An order issued by one local authority to another specifying the rate of tax to be charged on its behalf: the precept required a supplementary rate of 6.1p in the pound
3.1A rate or tax set by a precept.
Example sentences
  • The town council has managed to keep the rise in its council tax precept to the rate of inflation in the next financial year.
  • The executive's budget recommendations will now go to Monday's meeting of the full council, along with the council tax precepts of Lancashire County Council and the Police Authority.
  • All we are suggesting is that the parish councils take over the ones in the villages and that they pay to run them from their council tax precepts.



Pronunciation: /prɪˈsɛptɪv/


Late Middle English: from Latin praeceptum, neuter past participle of praecipere 'warn, instruct', from prae 'before' + capere 'take'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pre|cept

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