Definitions of principle

  1. rule of personal conduct
  2. an explanation of the fundamental reasons ( especially an explanation of the working of some device in terms of laws of nature); " the rationale for capital punishment"; " the principles of internal- combustion engines"
  3. a basic truth or law or assumption; " the principles of democracy"
  4. a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the function of a complex system; " the principle of the conservation of mass"; " the principle of jet propulsion"; " the right- hand rule for inductive fields"
  5. a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct; " their principles of composition characterized all their works"
  6. a rule or standard especially of good behavior; " a man of principle"; " he will not violate his principles"
  7. ( law) an explanation of the fundamental reasons ( especially an explanation of the working of some device in terms of laws of nature); " the rationale for capital punishment"; " the principles of internal- combustion engines"
  8. Beginning; commencement.
  9. A source, or origin; that from which anything proceeds; fundamental substance or energy; primordial substance; ultimate element, or cause.
  10. An original faculty or endowment.
  11. A fundamental truth; a comprehensive law or doctrine, from which others are derived, or on which others are founded; a general truth; an elementary proposition; a maxim; an axiom; a postulate.
  12. A settled rule of action; a governing law of conduct; an opinion or belief which exercises a directing influence on the life and behavior; a rule ( usually, a right rule) of conduct consistently directing one's actions; as, a person of no principle.
  13. Any original inherent constituent which characterizes a substance, or gives it its essential properties, and which can usually be separated by analysis; -- applied especially to drugs, plant extracts, etc.
  14. To equip with principles; to establish, or fix, in certain principles; to impress with any tenet, or rule of conduct, good or ill.
  15. A source or cause; a settled rule or law of conduct; a truth which is general and fundamental; as, the principles of government; reason; uprightness.
  16. 1. A continuously acting power or force. 2. The essential ingredient in a drug or chemical compound.
  17. Chief or important constituent.
  18. A fundamental truth: a law or doctrine from which others are derived: an original faculty of the mind: a settled rule of action: ( chem.) a constituent part.
  19. To establish in principles: to impress with a doctrine.
  20. Fundamental doctrine; rule of conduct; faculty of the mind; constituent part.
  21. A cause; essence.
  22. A general truth; rule of action, especially of right action.
  23. The source or origin of anything; clement; constituent or component part; an axiom or accepted truth; ground or reason; a general truth or law comprehending many subordinate one's; tenet or doctrine; a settled law or rule of action; action rightly motived.
  24. To impress with any tenet; to establish firmly in the mind. See Prince.
  25. The cause, source, or origin of anything; an element; ground of action; motive; a constituent part; a fundamental truth; a law comprehending many subordinate truths; a settled law or rule of conduct or action; a tenet or doctrine.
  26. To establish firmly in the mind.

Usage examples for principle

  1. But his principle was, to take whatever offered, and thus make way for the next thing. – David Elginbrod by George MacDonald
  2. " Phineas, you forget my principle only mine, however; I do not force it upon any one else- my firm principle that I will never go to law. – John Halifax, Gentleman by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
  3. Ernest knew exactly how it would strike Miss Ironsyde; but he also knew that many people without principle would view it as reasonable. – The Spinners by Eden Phillpotts
  4. A one- act play with a very good central situation came to nothing because its author had not grasped the principle just set forth. – Dramatic Technique by George Pierce Baker
  5. But Mind is the only I, or Us, divine Principle – Modern Religious Cults and Movements by Gaius Glenn Atkins
  6. His mother- in- law he respected, as one might respect a principle – The Patrician by John Galsworthy
  7. History is read upon the same principle – Determinism or Free-Will? by Chapman Cohen
  8. She always had her nose turned up a little- just on principle I guess. – At Good Old Siwash by George Fitch
  9. Margaret looks round the table to see how the principle has worked. – Doctor Cupid by Rhoda Broughton
  10. If that is true, then in working out the intelligence principle men will find the way to overcome the central difficulty of self- government, the difficulty of dealing with an unseen reality. – Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann
  11. Here is another application of the same principle – The Chemical History Of A Candle by Michael Faraday
  12. I have settled the general principle – The Second Deluge by Garrett P. Serviss
  13. And the principle is enough for us now. – Love's Final Victory by Horatio
  14. I have not so entirely lost all English principle as to quite do that. – Springhaven A Tale of the Great War by R. D. Blackmore
  15. Perish the colonies and all the passengers rather than a principle – The Adventures of a Special Correspondent by Jules Verne
  16. And his conclusion from this great and blessed principle is just what we might expect: " He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." – Parish Papers by Norman Macleod
  17. We will, however, leave on one side the immediate application of the principle and at this point insist only on the more remote consequences. – Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic by Henri Bergson
  18. But there's the principle – The Varmint by Owen Johnson F. R. Gruger
  19. I make it my principle in life. – All-Wool Morrison by Holman Day
  20. We shall all be able to help each other; that's the principle I go on. – Waihoura, the Maori Girl by W.H.G. Kingston