- principall ( obsolete )
- IPA: /ˈprɪnsɪpəl/, /ˈprɪnsəpəl/
- Hyphenation: prin‧ci‧pal
- Homophone: principle
- Primary; most important .
- Smith is the principal architect of this design .
- The principal cause of the failure was poor planning .
- 1760 , Homer, Alexander Pope, The Odyssey, Volume 2, page 217,
- In a word, the Epiſodes of Homer are complete Epiſodes; they are proper to the ſubject, because they are drawn from the ground of the fable; they are ſo joined to the principal action, that one is the neceſſary conſequence of the other, either truly or probably: and laſtly, they are imperfect members which do not make a complete and finiſhed body; for an Epiſode that makes a complete action, cannot be part of a principal action; as is eſſential to all Epiſodes .
- 1995, Madeleine Cabos, Baedeker Paris, page 105,
- 2005, Ruth N. Collins, Application of Phylogenetic Algorithms to Assess Rab Functional Relationships, Sidney P. Colowick, Alan Hall ( editors ), Methods in Enzymology, Volume 403, page 22,
- Not to be confused with principle.
The confused may care to use the mnemonic ‘The principal alphabetic principle places A before E,’ as a reminder of the spelling difference .
- ( finance, uncountable ) The money originally invested or loaned, on which basis interest and returns are calculated .
- 1902, William Pember Reeves, State Experiments in Australia and New Zealand, Volume 1, 2011, Cambridge University Press, page 342,
- 2012, Denis Clifford, Plan Your Estate, 11th Edition, NOLO, US, page 298,
- 2012, Fred Steingold, Legal Forms for Starting & Running a Small Business, page 88,
- ( North America, Australian, New Zealand ) The chief administrator of a school.
- 1971, Louis Kaplan, Education and Mental Health, page 413,
- 2008, Brian Dive, The Accountable Leader: Developing Effective Leadership Through Managerial Accountability, page 212,
- 2009, Colin J. Marsh, Key Concepts for Understanding Curriculum, page 132,
- 2011, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2011-2012, page 45,
- ( UK, Scotland, Canada ) The chief executive and chief academic officer of a university or college.
- 1967, University of Edinburgh Graduates′ Association, University of Edinburgh Journal, Volumes 23-24, page 314,
- ( law ) One who directs another ( the agent ) to act on one′s behalf .
- When an attorney represents a client, the client is the principal who permits the attorney, the client′s agent, to act on the client′s behalf .
- 1958, American Law Institute. Restatement of the Law, Second: Agency 2d, Volume 7, page 533,
- 1966, Pan American Union, The Marketing Structure for Selected Processed Food Products: In Sweden, Denmark, Norway, The Federal Republic of Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom, page 34,
- 2009, California Continuing Education of the Bar, California Probate Code, page 375,
- ( law ) The primary participant in a crime.
- A company represented by a salesperson .
- ( North America ) A partner or owner of a business .
- ( music ) A diapason, a type of organ stop on a pipe organ .
- ( original money invested or loaned ):
- ( school administrator ): headmaster, headmistress
- ( chief executive and chief academic officer of a university or college ): dean
- ( one under whose direction and on whose behalf an agent acts ): client
- ( company represented by a salesperson ):
- ( primary participant in a crime ): ringleader
- ( owner of or partner in a business ): proprietor
- ( organ stop ): diapason
From Latin principalis .
Principal is generally not used in the comparative or superlative in formal writing, as the meaning is already superlative. However, one may occasionally see, e.g., more principal meaning more likely to be principal or more nearly principal. There are similar issues with unique .
Explanation of principal by Wordnet Dictionary
- Principal a. [F., from L. principalis. See Prince.]
1. Highest in rank, authority, character, importance, or degree; most considerable or important; chief; main; as, “the principal officers of a Government; the principal men of a state; the principal productions of a country; the principal arguments in a case.”
Wisdom is the principal thing. Prov. iv. 7.
2. Of or pertaining to a prince; princely. [A Latinism] [Obs.] Spenser.
Principal axis. See Axis of a curve, under Axis. -- Principal axes of a quadric ( Geom. ), three lines in which the principal planes of the solid intersect two and two, as in an ellipsoid. -- Principal challenge. ( Law ) See under Challenge. -- Principal plane. See Plane of projection under Plane. -- Principal of a quadric ( Geom. ), three planes each of which is at right angles to the other two, and bisects all chords of the quadric perpendicular to the plane, as in an ellipsoid. -- Principal point ( Persp. ), the projection of the point of sight upon the plane of projection. -- Principal ray ( Persp. ), the line drawn through the point of sight perpendicular to the perspective plane. -- Principal section ( Crystallog. ), a plane passing through the optical axis of a crystal.
- Principal, n.
1. A leader, chief, or head; one who takes the lead; one who acts independently, or who has controlling authority or influence; as, “the principal of a faction, a school, a firm, etc.”; -- distinguished from a subordinate, abettor, auxiliary, or assistant.
2. Hence: ( Law ) The chief actor in a crime, or an abettor who is present at it, -- as distinguished from an accessory. A chief obligor, promisor, or debtor, -- as distinguished from a surety. One who employs another to act for him, -- as distinguished from an agent. Wharton. Bouvier. Burrill.
3. A thing of chief or prime importance; something fundamental or especially conspicuous. Specifically: ( Com. ) A capital sum of money, placed out at interest, due as a debt or used as a fund; -- so called in distinction from interest or profit. ( Arch. & Engin. ) The construction which gives shape and strength to a roof, -- generally a truss of timber or iron, but there are roofs with stone principals. Also, loosely, the most important member of a piece of framing. ( Mus. ) In English organs the chief open metallic stop, an octave above the open diapason. On the manual it is four feet long, on the pedal eight feet. In Germany this term corresponds to the English open diapason. ( O. Eng. Law ) A heirloom; a mortuary. Cowell. pl. The first two long feathers of a hawk's wing. Spenser. J. H. Walsh. One of turrets or pinnacles of waxwork and tapers with which the posts and center of a funeral hearse were formerly crowned. Oxf. Gloss. A principal or essential point or rule; a principle.
Definition of principal by GCIDE Dictionary