Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “principal”

principal

adjective [before noun] uk   /ˈprɪn.sɪ.pəl/ us  
B1 first in order of importance: Iraq's principal export is oil. He was principal dancer at the Dance Theatre of Harlem. That was my principal reason for moving.

principal

noun uk   /ˈprɪn.sɪ.pəl/ us  

principal noun (PERSON)

A2 [C] US the person in charge of a school or college for children aged between approximately eleven and 18

principal noun (MONEY)

[C usually singular] specialized finance & economics an amount of money that someone has invested in a bank or lent to a person or organization so that they will receive interest on it from the bank, person, or organization: She lives off the interest and tries to keep the principal intact.
(Definition of principal from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of principal?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “principal” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

light at the end of the tunnel

signs of improvement in a situation that has been bad for a long time, or signs that a long and difficult piece of work is almost finished

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

spoonula noun

October 13, 2014
a cooking implement that is a combination of a spoon and a spatula Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook on low-medium, scraping and folding the mixture with a silicone spoonula (I love this one).

Read More