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English definition of “principle”

principle

noun (IDEA)    /ˈprɪn.sɪ.pl̩/
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. → See also first principlesIdeas, concepts and theories 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.General first principlesGrammar:Principal or principle?Principal as an adjective means ‘most important’:See more
(Definition of principle noun (IDEA) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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