- 1A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning: the basic principles of justiceMore example sentences
- And yet, of course, our principles of fairness and justice must be upheld.
- Although its application was inevitably uneven, the Code Napoléon was intended to serve as a universal set of principles founded on reason.
- Following the enlightenment principle of truth through reason alone, it was thought that history cannot be determined until theology has been removed.
- 1.1 (usually principles) A rule or belief governing one’s behaviour: struggling to be true to their own principles [mass noun]: she resigned over a matter of principleMore example sentences
- If you can forsake your fundamental principles for any reason then you are not the kind of person who can take the country forward.
- Rarely have I encountered anyone as passionate and determined in his principles as Donald Bruce, a true patriot and a man who led a remarkable life.
- There are three key defining experiences in my life that form the foundation of my principles and beliefs.
- 1.2 [mass noun] Morally correct behaviour and attitudes: a man of principleMore example sentences
- It seems that in situations such as this, politics become incompatible with conscience, principle, decency and self-respect.
- How in one walk of life a person can have such a rigid sense of right and wrong - and in another he can operate with a total disregard for principle, integrity and fair play.
- But he's clearly a man of principle and unbending honesty - who, at times, can be cruelly insensitive, as when he tells a man he has casually examined that he has a tumour.
- 2A general scientific theorem or law that has numerous special applications across a wide field.More example sentences
- Physics has a big advantage here, since the ability to derive interesting conclusions from general principles comes earlier in physics than in other sciences.
- Guitar pickups work by the principles of magnetic induction.
- One line of evidence for the holographic principle comes from black hole physics.
- 2.1A natural law forming the basis for the construction or working of a machine: these machines all operate on the same general principleMore example sentences
- Yet, that was the age of levers and pulleys, and machines based on mechanical principles were being used as analog computers in many different ways.
- The principles underlying steam power, machine tools, and mass production were less familiar, hence less transparent.
- However, back then, explanations that were given to the general public regarding the actual principle of the flying machine appeared to be quite vague.
- 3.1A fundamental quality determining the nature of something: the combination of male and female principlesMore example sentences
- Just as the male and female principles complement each other, our views of history also much combine to give a holistic view of the past.
- As sun and moon represent the male and female principles, once again we see the potential for a happy union between you.
- Holding the rapt attention of the audience, the duo exemplified the concept of the male and female principles working in harmony and balance in the Universe, unique to Hindu mythology.
- 3.2 [with adjective] Chemistry An active or characteristic constituent of a substance, obtained by simple analysis or separation: the active principle of Spanish flyMore example sentences
- Various studies on the active principles of the manchineel tree have shown tigliane phorbol esters to be the likely cause of the severe reactions.
- The pungency of pepper is due to the active principles it contains - the volatile oil, piperine, and resin.
- The active principles were identified as baicalein from the first and methyl gallate from the last two plants.
- As a general idea or plan, although the details are not yet established: the government agreed in principle to a peace plan that included a ceasefireMore example sentences
- The plan was accepted in principle but the details for it were not.
- Councillors agreed to the scheme in principle, with the detail being delegated to planning officers.
- The town council says it supports the plan in principle, but says there could be problems finding a suitable location.
- Used to indicate that although something is theoretically possible, in reality it may not actually happen: in principle, the banks are entitled to withdraw these loans when necessaryMore example sentences
- The first test here should be whether infinite computing power is, in principle, even possible.
- Although having a smoke free environment seems good in principle, how would it be enforced?
- However, he sees no reason to believe that a machine cannot, in principle, do the things humans can do.
- Because of or in order to demonstrate one’s adherence to a particular belief: he refused, on principle, to pay the fineMore example sentences
- I have never been in a limo in my life and would refuse to do so on principle.
- Pittman said he later spoke to an employee who apologized and asked him to keep his subscription, but he quit on principle.
- But I wouldn't go in there now on principle, even if you paid me.
late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin principium 'source', principia (plural) 'foundations', from princeps, princip- 'first, chief'.
The words principle and principal are pronounced in the same way but they do not have the same meaning. Principle is normally used as a noun meaning ‘a fundamental basis of a system of thought or belief’, as in this is one of the basic principles of democracy . Principal, on the other hand, is normally an adjective meaning ‘main or most important’, as in one of the country’s principal cities . Principal can also be a noun, where it is used to refer to the most senior or most important person in an organization or other group: the deputy principal .