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Definition of Principal

Principal

  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.
  2. Of or pertaining to a prince; princely.
  3. 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.
  4. The chief actor in a crime, or an abettor who is present at it, -- as distinguished from an accessory.
  5. A chief obligor, promisor, or debtor, -- as distinguished from a surety.
  6. One who employs another to act for him, -- as distinguished from an agent.
  7. A thing of chief or prime importance; something fundamental or especially conspicuous.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. A heirloom; a mortuary.
  12. The first two long feathers of a hawk's wing.
  13. One of turrets or pinnacles of waxwork and tapers with which the posts and center of a funeral hearse were formerly crowned.
  14. A principal or essential point or rule; a principle.

Principal Quotations

There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge... observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination.
Denis Diderot

Love is something far more than desire for sexual intercourse; it is the principal means of escape from the loneliness which afflicts most men and women throughout the greater part of their lives.
Bertrand Russell

I was just a goofy little funny kid, who was always getting sent to the principal. It wasn't serious because I was smart. I wasn't like a true troublemaker, just rambunctious - like, talkative and trying to be funny. That was me in middle-school.
J. Cole

There's nothing more important than our good health - that's our principal capital asset.
Arlen Specter

Owing to the difficulty of dealing with substances of high molecular weight we are still a long way from having determined the chemical characteristics and the constitution of proteins, which are regarded as the principal con-stituents of living organisms.
Karl Landsteiner
More "Principal" Quotations

Principal Translations

principal in Dutch is hoofd-, voornaamste
principal in Latin is potissimus
principal in Spanish is principal
principal in Swedish is huvudsakligen
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