Definitions of principle

  1. To establish in principles: to impress with a doctrine.
  2. To impress with any tenet; to establish firmly in the mind. See Prince.
  3. To establish firmly in the mind.
  4. a basic truth or law or assumption; " the principles of democracy"
  5. 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"
  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. A source, or origin; that from which anything proceeds; fundamental substance or energy; primordial substance; ultimate element, or cause.
  9. An original faculty or endowment.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. To equip with principles; to establish, or fix, in certain principles; to impress with any tenet, or rule of conduct, good or ill.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. A cause; essence.
  17. A general truth; rule of action, especially of right action.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.