principle definition, meaning - what is principle in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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 uk   us   /ˈprɪn.sɪ.pl̩/

principle noun (IDEA)

C1 [C] a basic idea or rule that explains or controls how something happens or works: the principles of the criminal justice system The country is run on socialist principles. The machine works according to the principle of electromagnetic conduction. The organization works on the principle that all members have the same rights. in principle C2 If you agree with or believe something in principle, you agree with the idea in general, although you might not support it in reality or in every situation: In principle I agree with the idea, but in practice it's not always possible. They have approved the changes in principle.
More examples

principle noun (RULE)

C2 [C or U] approving a moral rule or standard of good behaviour: She doesn't have any principles. He was a man of principle. Anyway, I can't deceive him - it's against all my principles. I never gamble, as a matter of principle (= because I believe it is wrong). She'd never ask to borrow money, on principle.
Translations of “principle”
in Arabic مَبْدَأ…
in Korean 원칙…
in Malaysian prinsip…
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 Vietnamese nguyên lý, nguyên tắc cấu tạo…
in Spanish principio…
in Portuguese princípio…
in Thai กฎ, ทฤษฎี…
in German das Gesetz, die Grundregel…
in Catalan principi…
in Japanese 道義, 主義, 信条…
in Indonesian prinsip…
in Chinese (Simplified) 基本思想, 原理, 原则…
(Definition of principle from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of principle?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “principle” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

gale-force

(of winds) very strong

Word of the Day

They sometimes go here and they never go there: using adverbs of frequency

by Liz Walter,
April 29, 2015
Sometimes, always, often, never: these are some of the most common words in English.  Unfortunately, they are also some of the words that cause the most problems for students. Many of my students put them in the wrong place, often because that’s where they go in their own languages. They say things

Read More 

Evel abbreviation

May 04, 2015
English votes for English laws; the idea that only English (as opposed to Scottish, Welsh or Irish) MPs should be allowed to vote for laws that affect only England Yet these are the two principal constitutional proposals that have come from the Conservative party in its kneejerk response to Ukip’s English nationalism and

Read More