The DICT Development Group

Search for:
Search type:

Database copyright information
Server information

5 definitions found
 for principle
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Principle \Prin"ci*ple\, n. [F. principe, L. principium
     beginning, foundation, fr. princeps, -cipis. See Prince.]
     1. Beginning; commencement. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
              Doubting sad end of principle unsound. --Spenser.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. A source, or origin; that from which anything proceeds;
        fundamental substance or energy; primordial substance;
        ultimate element, or cause.
        [1913 Webster]
              The soul of man is an active principle. --Tillotson.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. An original faculty or endowment.
        [1913 Webster]
              Nature in your principles hath set [benignity].
        [1913 Webster]
              Those active principles whose direct and ultimate
              object is the communication either of enjoyment or
              suffering.                            --Stewart.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. 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.
        [1913 Webster]
              Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of
              Christ, let us go on unto perfection. --Heb. vi. 1.
        [1913 Webster]
              A good principle, not rightly understood, may prove
              as hurtful as a bad.                  --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. 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.
        [1913 Webster]
              All kinds of dishonesty destroy our pretenses to an
              honest principle of mind.             --Law.
        [1913 Webster]
     6. (Chem.) 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,
        [1913 Webster]
              Cathartine is the bitter, purgative principle of
              senna.                                --Gregory.
        [1913 Webster]
     Bitter principle, Principle of contradiction, etc. See
        under Bitter, Contradiction, etc.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Principle \Prin"ci*ple\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Principled; p.
     pr. & vb. n. Principling.]
     To equip with principles; to establish, or fix, in certain
     principles; to impress with any tenet, or rule of conduct,
     good or ill.
     [1913 Webster]
           Governors should be well principled.     --L'Estrange.
     [1913 Webster]
           Let an enthusiast be principled that he or his teacher
           is inspired.                             --Locke.
     [1913 Webster] Princock

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that
           can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct; "their
           principles of composition characterized all their works"
           [syn: principle, rule]
      2: a rule or standard especially of good behavior; "a man of
         principle"; "he will not violate his principles"
      3: a basic truth or law or assumption; "the principles of
      4: 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" [syn: principle, rule]
      5: rule of personal conduct [syn: principle, precept]
      6: (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" [syn: rationale,

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  204 Moby Thesaurus words for "principle":
     Procrustean law, a belief, a priori truth, activity, ambition,
     antecedents, article of faith, aspiration, at bottom, attitude,
     axiom, base, basement, basically, basis, bearing wall, bed,
     bedding, bedrock, belief, brocard, call, calling, campaign, canon,
     causation, cause, cause and effect, center, code, commandment,
     commitment, conscience, consideration, convention, core, credo,
     creed, criterion, crusade, determinant, determinative, dictate,
     dictum, doctrine, dogma, drive, element, elements, elixir, essence,
     essential, essentially, ethic, etiology, factor, faith, floor,
     flooring, flower, focus, fond, footing, form, formality, formula,
     formulary, foundation, fundament, fundamental, fundamentally,
     fundamentals, general principle, gist, given, goal, golden rule,
     grammar, gravamen, great cause, ground, grounds, groundwork, guide,
     guideline, guiding light, guiding principle, guiding star, hardpan,
     heart, honesty, hypostasis, idea, ideal, ideally, imperative,
     in essence, in theory, inner essence, inspiration, integrity,
     intention, interest, issue, kernel, law, law of nature, lifework,
     lodestar, mainspring, marrow, mass movement, matter, maxim, meat,
     mitzvah, model, moral, morality, morals, motive, movement, norm,
     norma, notion, nub, nucleus, nuts and bolts, occasion,
     order of nature, ordinance, pavement, philosophy, pith,
     point of view, postulate, precept, prescribed form, prescription,
     principium, principles, probity, proposition, quid, quiddity,
     quintessence, radical, reason, reason for being, regulation,
     riprap, rock bottom, rubric, rudiment, rudiments, rule, sake, sap,
     score, seat, self-evident truth, sentiment, set form,
     settled principle, sill, solid ground, solid rock, soul, source,
     spirit, spring, standard, standing order, stereobate, stimulus,
     stuff, stylobate, substance, substratum, substruction,
     substructure, teaching, tenet, terra firma, the nitty-gritty,
     theorem, theoretically, truism, truth, ulterior motive,
     underbuilding, undercarriage, undergirding, underpinning,
     understruction, understructure, universal law, universal truth,
     uprightness, usage, viewpoint, vocation, working principle,
     working rule

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  PRINCIPLES. By this term is understood truths or propositions so clear that 
  they cannot be proved nor contradicted, unless by propositions which are 
  still clearer. They are of two kinds, one when the principle is universal, 
  and these are known as axioms or maxims; as, no one can transmit rights 
  which he has not; the accessory follows the principal, &c. The other class 
  are simply called first principles. These principles have known marks by 
  which they may always be recognized. These are, 1. That they are so clear 
  that they cannot be proved by anterior and more manifest truths. 2, That 
  they are almost universally received. 3. That they are so strongly impressed 
  on our minds that we conform ourselves to them, whatever may be our avowed 
       2. First principles have their source in the sentiment of our own 
  existence, and that which is in the nature of things. A principle of law is 
  a rule or axiom which is founded in the nature of the subject, and it exists 
  before it is expressed in the form of a rule. Domat, Lois Civiles, liv. 
  prel. t. 1, s. 2 Toull. tit. prel. n. 17. The right to defend one's self, 
  continues as long as an unjust attack, was a principle before it was ever 
  decides by a court, so that a court does Dot establish but recognize 
  principles of law. 
       3. In physics, by principle is understood that which constitutes the 
  essence of a body, or its constituent parts. 8 T. R. 107. See 2 H. Bl. 478. 
  Taken in this sense, a principle cannot be patented; but when by the 
  principle of a machine is meant the modus operandi, the peculiar device or 
  manner of producing any given effect, the application of the principle may 
  be patented. 1 Mason, 470; 1 Gallis, 478; Fessend. on Pat. 130; Phil. on 
  Pat. 95, 101; Perpigna, Manuel des Inventeurs, &c., c. 2, s. 1. 

Contact=webmaster@dict.org Specification=RFC 2229