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

give the green light to sth

to give permission for someone to do something or for something to happen

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More