Precept definition

prēsĕpt
Frequency:
A rule or principle prescribing a particular course of action or conduct.
noun
135
23
A rule of moral conduct; maxim.
noun
112
21
A commandment or direction meant as a rule of action or conduct.
noun
103
21
(law) A direction or order issued by an authority; a writ, command, or process.
noun
94
15
(law) A written order; writ.
noun
36
10
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The definition of a precept is a guiding principle or rule that is used to control, influence or regulate conduct.

An example of a precept is a commandment found in the Ten Commandments.

noun
19
2
A rule or direction, as in technical matters.
noun
25
10
A rule or principle, especially one governing personal conduct.
noun
12
2
1891: Susan Hale, Mexico, volume 27, The Story of the Nations, London: T. Fisher Unwin, page 80.
noun
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2
(law) A written command, especially a demand for payment.
noun
6
2
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(obsolete) To teach by precepts.

verb
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3

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
precept
Plural:
precepts

Origin of precept

  • Middle English from Old French from Latin praeceptum from neuter past participle of praecipere to advise, teach prae- pre- capere to take kap- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Vulgar Latin praeceptum, form of praecipere (“to teach"), from Latin prae (“pre-") + capere (“take").

    From Wiktionary