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
 
 
/ˈprɪnsəpl/
MORAL RULE [C, U] a rule or belief that influences your behaviour and which is based on what you think is right: He must be punished - it's a matter of principle.Morality and rules of behaviour
BASIC IDEA [C] B2 a basic idea or rule that explains how something happens or works: The organization works on the principle that all members have the same rights.Rules and laws
in principle If you agree with something in principle, you agree with the idea or plan although you do not know the details or you do not know if it will be possible: They have approved the changes in principle.Ideas, concepts and theories
on principle If you refuse to do something on principle, you refuse to do it because you think it is morally wrong: She doesn't wear fur on principle.Morality and rules of behaviour
Translations of “principle”
in Korean 원칙…
in Arabic مَبْدَأ…
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 Spanish principio…
in Portuguese princípio…
in German das Gesetz, die Grundregel…
in Catalan principi…
in Japanese 道義, 主義, 信条…
in Chinese (Simplified) 基本思想, 原理, 原则…
(Definition of principle from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “principle” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

comma

the symbol , used in writing to separate parts of a sentence showing a slight pause, or to separate the single things in a list

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More