Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “principle”

principle

noun  /ˈprɪn·sə·pəl/ us  

principle noun (MORAL RULE)

[C/U] a moral rule or standard of good behavior or fair dealing: [C] His guiding principle is that everyone should have equal access to high-quality health care. [C] He refused to compromise his principles. on principle If you believe or act on principle, you are following a personal standard of behavior: On principle, I never eat meat.

principle noun (BASIC TRUTH)

[C often pl] a basic truth that explains or controls how something happens or works: the principles of Newtonian physics in principle Someone who agrees to something in principle agrees with the idea, but may not agree with using the idea to bring about practical changes: In principle I agree that mothers should spend as much time as possible with their young children, but it isn’t easy.
(Definition of principle from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of principle?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More American English definitions for “principle”

Definitions of “principle” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

first:

(a person or thing) coming before all others in order, time, amount, quality, or importance

Word of the Day

Countability – grammar codes

by Dom Glennon​​,
November 26, 2014
Advices and informations Have you ever noticed strange codes in square brackets on entries in Cambridge Dictionaries Online and wondered what they mean? These are grammar codes, giving you a brief summary of how that word behaves grammatically. More information can be obtained by hovering your cursor over the code, and there’s

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More