Definitions of principal

  1. most important element; " the chief aim of living"; " the main doors were of solid glass"; " the principal rivers of America"; " the principal example"; " policemen were primary targets"
  2. capital as contrasted with the income derived from it
  3. the original amount of a debt on which interest is calculated
  4. an actor who plays a principal role
  5. Highest in rank, authority, character, importance, or degree; most considerable or important; chief; main; as, the principal officers of a Government; the principal men of a state; the principal productions of a country; the principal arguments in a case.
  6. Of or pertaining to a prince; princely.
  7. A leader, chief, or head; one who takes the lead; one who acts independently, or who has controlling authority or influence; as, the principal of a faction, a school, a firm, etc.; -- distinguished from a subordinate, abettor, auxiliary, or assistant.
  8. The chief actor in a crime, or an abettor who is present at it, -- as distinguished from an accessory.
  9. A chief obligor, promisor, or debtor, -- as distinguished from a surety.
  10. One who employs another to act for him, -- as distinguished from an agent.
  11. A thing of chief or prime importance; something fundamental or especially conspicuous.
  12. A capital sum of money, placed out at interest, due as a debt or used as a fund; -- so called in distinction from interest or profit.
  13. The construction which gives shape and strength to a roof, -- generally a truss of timber or iron, but there are roofs with stone principals. Also, loosely, the most important member of a piece of framing.
  14. In English organs the chief open metallic stop, an octave above the open diapason. On the manual it is four feet long, on the pedal eight feet. In Germany this term corresponds to the English open diapason.
  15. A heirloom; a mortuary.
  16. The first two long feathers of a hawk's wing.
  17. One of turrets or pinnacles of waxwork and tapers with which the posts and center of a funeral hearse were formerly crowned.
  18. A principal or essential point or rule; a principle.
  19. When creating a power of attorney or other legal document, the person who appoints an attorney- in- fact or agent to act on his or her behalf. In criminal law, the main perpetrator of a crime. In commercial law, the total amount of a loan, not including any capitalized fees or interest. In the law of trusts, the property of the trust, as opposed to the income generated by that property. The principal is also known as the trust corpus; that's Latin for " body." For example, Arthur establishes a new trust with $ 100, 000, with interest and other income payable to Merlin; the $ 100, 000 is the trust principal or corpus.
  20. First or highest in rank, value, character, degree, or importance; most important; main; chief.
  21. The chief in authority; head of a firm or school; a sum of money drawing interest.
  22. Principally.
  23. Taking the first place: highest in character or importance: chief.
  24. A principal person or thing: a head, as of a school or college: one who takes a leading part: money on which interest is paid: ( arch.) a main beam or timber: ( law) the perpetrator of a crime, or an abettor: ( music) an organ stop.
  25. A chief person; head; money on which interest is paid.
  26. Chief.
  27. Property or capital; a sum on which interest accrues.
  28. Chief; highest in rank, character, or importance.
  29. A chief or head; one who takes the lead; the president, governor, or chief in authority; n chief party, actor, or agent; a capital sum lent on interest. See Prince.
  30. Highest in rank or character; the most important; chief; leading; capital; essential.
  31. A head or chief; one who takes the lead; the governor or chief in authority; the proprietor or head of a school or academy; the capital or chief sum, as one lent on interest.

Usage examples for principal

  1. And the principal thing was to get off that ship without any loss of time. – A Jolly Fellowship by Frank R. Stockton
  2. The principal officers would go with her, I was told, and the regular train would follow with the troops. – Where Strongest Tide Winds Blew by Robert McReynolds
  3. Of course Christy was delighted to see him, but he kept watching the steps of the principal car all the time. – A Victorious Union SERIES: The Blue and the Gray--Afloat by Oliver Optic
  4. Among others he met the school principal. – Darrel of the Blessed Isles by Irving Bacheller
  5. The following are the principal ones in use: as, as. – Slips of Speech by John H. Bechtel
  6. I still owe, on the principal, one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. – Judith of Blue Lake Ranch by Jackson Gregory
  7. Thus, Mr. Hayne, in his reply to Mr. Webster, denied that the south suffered in consequence of slavery; he maintained that the slaveholding States were prosperous, and the principal cause of all the prosperity in the Union. – An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans by Lydia Maria Child
  8. Whatever information I might give, he said, I'd only give to a principal- the principal. – The Paradise Mystery by J. S. Fletcher
  9. " Now, I understand that your principal reason in coming to Leigh was that your son should in time be able to sail your boat. – A Chapter of Adventures by G. A. Henty
  10. On this occasion the principal parts were interpreted by Mme. – Masters of French Music by Arthur Hervey
  11. In his second character, his success was not remarkable, the principal results being a spear- thrust in the head, and being generally told to read his books and leave men alone. – First Footsteps in East Africa or, an Exploration of Harar by Richard F. Burton
  12. I had not then perceived my principal enemy. – The Ghost-Seer (or The Apparitionist), and Sport of Destiny by Frederich Schiller
  13. The principal lesson taught at Cowan's Bridge was the value of routine. – Emily Brontë by A. Mary F. (Agnes Mary Frances) Robinson
  14. I wondered who he meant; but Lady Principal saw me looking in and asked me if 'I wished anything? – Dorothy at Oak Knowe by Evelyn Raymond
  15. Then you won't be principal of Sanford High School. – Marjorie Dean, High School Junior by Pauline Lester
  16. The effect of a French dinner is its principal charm. – Recollections of Europe by J. Fenimore Cooper