Principal
Principal Prin"ci*pal, 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}. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence: (Law) (a) The chief actor in a crime, or an abettor who is present at it, -- as distinguished from an accessory. (b) A chief obligor, promisor, or debtor, -- as distinguished from a surety. (c) One who employs another to act for him, -- as distinguished from an agent. --Wharton. --Bouvier. --Burrill. [1913 Webster]

3. A thing of chief or prime importance; something fundamental or especially conspicuous. Specifically: (a) (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. (b) (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. (c) (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. (d) (O. Eng. Law) A heirloom; a mortuary. --Cowell. (e) pl. The first two long feathers of a hawk's wing. --Spenser. --J. H. Walsh. (f) One of turrets or pinnacles of waxwork and tapers with which the posts and center of a funeral hearse were formerly crowned. --Oxf. Gloss. (g) A principal or essential point or rule; a principle. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • principal — principal, ale, aux [ prɛ̃sipal, o ] adj. et n. • 1119; « princier » 1080; lat. principalis « principal, du prince », de princeps I ♦ Adj. 1 ♦ Qui est le plus important, le premier parmi plusieurs. ⇒ 1. capital, essentiel, fondamental, primordial …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • principal — prin·ci·pal 1 / prin sə pəl/ adj 1: being the main or most important, consequential, or influential their principal place of business the principal obligor 2: of, relating to, or constituting principal or a principal the principal amount of the… …   Law dictionary

  • principal — principal, ale 1. (prin si pal, pa l ) adj. 1°   Qui est le plus considérable, en parlant de personnes. Les principaux magistrats. •   Quand on bâtit une maison, quoique les maçons, les charpentiers, les plombiers, les menuisiers travaillent bien …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • principal — Principal, Estre le Principal et plus excellent, Primas partes in re aliqua agere, Principatum tenere. Pansa a esté nostre principal aide et secours, Principem habuimus Pansam. Laquelle chose est la principale et la meilleure, et la plus forte,… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Principal — may refer to: Education The head of an educational institution: *Principal (school), head of a primary or secondary school *Principal (university), chief executive of a university **Dean (education), a person with significant authority **Provost… …   Wikipedia

  • Principal — Prin ci*pal, 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • principal — PRINCIPÁL, Ă, principali, e, adj. Care are o importanţă deosebită sau cea mai mare importanţă; de căpetenie, de frunte. ♢ (gram.) Propoziţie principală (şi substantivat, f.) = propoziţie independentă dintr o frază, de care depind propoziţiile… …   Dicționar Român

  • principal — (Del lat. principālis). 1. adj. Dicho de una persona o de una cosa: Que tiene el primer lugar en estimación o importancia y se antepone y prefiere a otras. 2. Dicho de una persona: Que es la primera en un negocio o en cuya cabeza está. 3.… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • principal — principal, principle The spellings are occasionally confused even by the wariest users of English, the usual mistake being to use principle for the adjective principal. Principal is an adjective and noun and essentially means ‘chief’ (my… …   Modern English usage

  • principal — [prin′sə pəl] adj. [OFr < L principalis < princeps: see PRINCE] 1. first in rank, authority, importance, degree, etc. 2. that is or has to do with PRINCIPAL (n. 3) n. 1. a principal person or thing; specif., a) a ch …   English World dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”