Principal meaning

prĭnsə-pəl
Frequency:
Principal is someone or something that holds the highest rank, or is a sum of money.

An example of principal is the person in charge at a school or the head of a research project.

An example of principal is the amount of money loaned to a business.

noun
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4
First or highest in rank or importance.
adjective
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3
Highest or among the highest in rank, authority, importance, degree, etc.
adjective
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1
Of, relating to, or being financial principal, or a principal in a financial transaction.
adjective
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That is or has to do with principal.
adjective
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A principal person or thing.
  • A chief; head.
  • A governing or presiding officer, specif. of a school.
  • A main actor or performer.
  • Either of the combatants in a duel.
noun
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1
The amount of money that is borrowed, excluding the interest charge, that remains unpaid. Principal also may be part of a monthly payment that reduces the outstanding balance of a loan. For instance, mortgage payments consist of principal and interest payments.
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The person or company who is the main party to a transaction.
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The role that a broker or dealer plays when selling or buying securities for his or her own account.
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A company executive, typically one with an ownership interest in the company.
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Of greatest importance. One who authorizes another to act in his or her behalf as an agent; any person involved in the commission of a criminal act.
noun
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A principal whose identity is shared by his or her agent with the third party.
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The actual perpetrator of a crime.
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Someone who assists in some way the principal in the first degree.
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A principal whose identity is kept secret by his agent. Both the undisclosed principal and the authorized agent are liable for fulfilling the provisions of a contract.
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Primary; most important.

Smith is the principal architect of this design.

The principal cause of the failure was poor planning.

adjective
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(finance, uncountable) The money originally invested or loaned, on which basis interest and returns are calculated.

A portion of your mortgage payment goes to reduce the principal, and the rest covers interest.

noun
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(North America, Australia, New Zealand) The chief administrator of a school.
noun
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1
Either of a pair of inclined timbers forming the sides of a triangular truss for a pitched roof.
noun
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(UK, Scotland, Canada) The chief executive and chief academic officer of a university or college.
noun
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(law) One who directs another (the agent) to act on one"²s behalf.

When an attorney represents a client, the client is the principal who permits the attorney, the client"²s agent, to act on the client"²s behalf.

noun
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(law) The primary participant in a crime.
noun
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A company represented by a salesperson.

My principal sells metal shims.

noun
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(North America) A partner or owner of a business.
noun
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(music) A diapason, a type of organ stop on a pipe organ.
noun
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(architecture, engineering) The construction that gives shape and strength to a roof, generally a truss of timber or iron; or, loosely, the most important member of a piece of framing.
noun
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The first two long feathers of a hawk's wing.

noun
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1
One of the turrets or pinnacles of waxwork and tapers with which the posts and centre of a funeral hearse were formerly crowned.

noun
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The definition of principal is the first or highest in importance.

An example of a principal ingredient is flour in bread.

adjective
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2

Origin of principal

  • Middle English from Old French from Latin prīncipālis from prīnceps prīncip- leader, emperor per1 in Indo-European roots

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

  • From Latin principalis.

    From Wiktionary