Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “first principles”

first principles

noun [plural] uk   UK us  
the basic and most important reasons for doing or believing something: We seem to have forgotten why we're fighting this campaign - we really need to return to first principles.
(Definition of first principles from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of first principles?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Motives and reasons, but you might be interested in these topics from the Behaving and interacting topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Translations of “first principles”

Word of the Day

see the light of day

When something sees the light of day, it appears for the first time.

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