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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)
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