principle: Meaning and Definition of
Pronunciation: (prin'su-pul), [key]
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
- an accepted or professed rule of action or conduct: a person of good moral principles.
- a fundamental, primary, or general law or truth from which others are derived: the principles of modern physics.
- a fundamental doctrine or tenet; a distinctive ruling opinion: the principles of the Stoics.
- a personal or specific basis of conduct or management: to adhere to one's principles; a kindergarten run on modern principles.
- guiding sense of the requirements and obligations of right conduct: a person of principle.
- an adopted rule or method for application in action: a working principle for general use.
- a rule or law exemplified in natural phenomena, the construction or operation of a machine, the working of a system, or the like: the principle of capillary attraction.
- the method of formation, operation, or procedure exhibited in a given case: a community organized on the patriarchal principle.
- a determining characteristic of something; essential quality.
- an originating or actuating agency or force: growth is the principle of life.
- an actuating agency in the mind or character, as an instinct, faculty, or natural tendency: the principles of human behavior.
- a constituent of a substance, esp. one giving to it some distinctive quality or effect.
- beginning or commencement.
- in essence or substance; fundamentally: to accept a plan in principle.
- He refused on principle to agree to the terms of the treaty.
- according to personal rules for right conduct; as a matter of moral principle:He refused on principle to agree to the terms of the treaty.
- according to a fixed rule, method, or practice:He drank hot milk every night on principle.