- The definition of a principle is a basic truth or the source or origin of something or someone.
An example of principle is a list of values set by a group of people.
principle definition by Webster's New World
- the ultimate source, origin, or cause of something
- a natural or original tendency, faculty, or endowment
- a fundamental truth, law, doctrine, or motivating force, upon which others are based: moral principles
- a rule of conduct, esp. of right conduct
- such rules collectively
- adherence to them; integrity; uprightness: a man of principle
- an essential element, constituent, or quality, esp. one that produces a specific effect: the active principle of a medicine
- the scientific law that explains a natural action: the principle of cell division
- the method of a thing's operation: the principle of a gasoline engine is internal combustion
Origin: Middle English altered ; from Middle French principe ; from Classical Latin principium: see principium
principle definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A basic truth, law, or assumption: the principles of democracy.
- a. A rule or standard, especially of good behavior: a man of principle.b. The collectivity of moral or ethical standards or judgments: a decision based on principle rather than expediency.
- A fixed or predetermined policy or mode of action.
- A basic or essential quality or element determining intrinsic nature or characteristic behavior: the principle of self-preservation.
- A rule or law concerning the functioning of natural phenomena or mechanical processes: the principle of jet propulsion.
- Chemistry One of the elements that compose a substance, especially one that gives some special quality or effect.
- A basic source. See Usage Note at principal.
Origin: Middle English, alteration of Old French principe, from Latin prīncipium, from prīnceps, prīncip-, leader, emperor; see per1 in Indo-European roots.
principle - Medical Definition
- A basic truth, law, or assumption.
- A rule or law concerning the functioning of natural phenomena or mechanical processes.
- One of the elements composing a chemical compound, especially one that gives some special quality or effect.
- The essential ingredient in a drug.
principle - Phrases/Idioms