Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Principal or principle?

from English Grammar Today

Principal as an adjective means ‘most important’:

The principal reason for the failure to take action was poor communication between government departments. (the most important reason)

We can use principal as a noun to mean the head of a school or college (especially in American English):

The college principal made a speech congratulating all the students who were graduating in that year.

Principle is a noun. It means ‘a rule or theory which explains how something is or works’ or ‘a moral rule or guideline’:

The scientific principles behind even the most complicated computer are relatively simple.

He seems to have no principles at all, and is only interested in money. (He has no moral rules or guidelines.)

(“Principal or principle ?” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press. Need grammar practice? Try English Grammar Today with Workbook.)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Word of the Day

shampoo

a liquid used for washing hair, or for washing particular objects or materials

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

crossfit noun

March 23, 2015
high-intensity strength training Two women in strappy dresses discussed how much weight they could snatch

Read More