Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “principle”

See all translations

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 physicsin 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.
Translations of “principle”
in Korean 원칙…
in Arabic مَبْدَأ…
in French principe…
in Turkish ilke, prensip, genel kural ve uygulamalar…
in Italian principio…
in Chinese (Traditional) 基本思想, 原理, 原則…
in Russian принцип, правило…
in Polish zasada, zasady…
in Spanish principio…
in Portuguese princípio…
in German das Gesetz, die Grundregel…
in Catalan principi…
in Japanese 道義, 主義, 信条…
in Chinese (Simplified) 基本思想, 原理, 原则…
(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

pot luck

anything that is available or is found by chance, rather than something chosen, planned, or prepared

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More