3 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Principle \Prin"ci*ple\, noun [F. principe, L. principium beginning, foundation, fr. princeps, -cipis. See {Prince}.]

1. Beginning; commencement. [Obs.]

Doubting sad end of principle unsound. --Spenser.

2. A source, or origin; that from which anything proceeds; fundamental substance or energy; primordial substance; ultimate element, or cause.

The soul of man is an active principle. --Tillotson.

3. An original faculty or endowment.

Nature in your principles hath set [benignity]. --Chaucer.

Those active principles whose direct and ultimate object is the communication either of enjoyment or suffering. --Stewart.

4. A fundamental truth; a comprehensive law or doctrine, from which others are derived, or on which others are founded; a general truth; an elementary proposition; a maxim; an axiom; a postulate.

Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection. --Heb. vi. 1.

A good principle, not rightly understood, may prove as hurtful as a bad. --Milton.

5. A settled rule of action; a governing law of conduct; an opinion or belief which exercises a directing influence on the life and behavior; a rule (usually, a right rule) of conduct consistently directing one's actions; as, a person of no principle.

All kinds of dishonesty destroy our pretenses to an honest principle of mind. --Law.

6. (Chem.) Any original inherent constituent which characterizes a substance, or gives it its essential properties, and which can usually be separated by analysis; -- applied especially to drugs, plant extracts, etc.

Cathartine is the bitter, purgative principle of senna. --Gregory.

{Bitter principle}, {Principle of contradiction}, etc. See under {Bitter}, {Contradiction}, etc.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Principle \Prin"ci*ple\, verb (used with an object) [imp. & p. p. {Principled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Principling}.] To equip with principles; to establish, or fix, in certain principles; to impress with any tenet, or rule of conduct, good or ill.

Governors should be well principled. --L'Estrange.

Let an enthusiast be principled that he or his teacher is inspired. --Locke. Princock

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:



1: a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct; "their principles of composition characterized all their works" [syn: {principle}, {rule}]

2: a rule or standard especially of good behavior; "a man of principle"; "he will not violate his principles"

3: a basic truth or law or assumption; "the principles of democracy"

4: a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the function of a complex system; "the principle of the conservation of mass"; "the principle of jet propulsion"; "the right-hand rule for inductive fields" [syn: {principle}, {rule}]

5: rule of personal conduct [syn: {principle}, {precept}]

6: (law) an explanation of the fundamental reasons (especially an explanation of the working of some device in terms of laws of nature); "the rationale for capital punishment"; "the principles of internal-combustion engines" [syn: {rationale}, {principle}]

1. Caduceus  2. Golden Key  3. Scales of Justice (Or maybe, 1. HEALTH 2. SECURITY 3. JUSTICE?)


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