principle


principle
principle prin‧ci‧ple [ˈprɪnspl] noun
1. [countable, uncountable] a moral rule or set of ideas that makes you behave in a particular way:

• The single European market works on market principles.

As a matter of principle (= a rule that is very important and that should not be broken ) , disabled people should have the right to work.

— see also error of principle
2. [countable] a rule that explains how something works, or an idea that something is based on:

• The basic principle is that all information collected for one purpose is confidential.

• The US market is built on the principle that a marketplace should be available to everyone.

• accounting practice based on the accruals principle

aˌbility-to-ˈpay ˌprinciple [singular] ECONOMICS
the economic idea stating that people who earn more money should pay a higher rate of tax
acˈcounting ˌprinciple [countable] ACCOUNTING
a rule or idea used for preparing accounts in a particular company or place:

• The accounting principles adopted must be objective in the sense that any accountant would produce an acceptable set of accounts from the same data.

— see also Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
ˈbenefit ˌprinciple [singular] ECONOMICS
the idea that the people who use a particular public service should pay for it through taxes:

• There are two principles behind taxation: ability to pay and the benefit principle.

3. in principle if something is possible in principle, there is no reason why it should not happen, but it has not actually happened yet:

• In principle, we pay all our freelance staff within one month.

4. in principle if something happens in principle, decisions, rules etc say that it should happen, even if in practice it does not always happen:

• In principle, a hostile takeover is possible, but we want to discourage it.

5. in principle if you agree to do something in principle, you agree in a general way to the idea or plan, without agreeing to any details:

• North and South Korea agreed in principle to link their separate air-traffic control systems.

* * *

principle UK US /ˈprɪnsəpl/ noun
[C] a basic idea or rule that explains or controls how something happens or works: a principle of sth »

Those who paid the most would be earning the most: it's a pretty basic principle of fair taxation.

basic/fundamental/general principle »

The general principles of project management are much the same in the two cases.

on the principle that »

The organization works on the principle that all members have the same rights.

»

The country is run on socialist principles.

[C or U] a moral rule or standard of good behaviour: »

I never cheat a customer, as a matter of principle.

»

She'd never ask to borrow money, on principle.

in principle — Cf. in principle
See also ABILITY TO PAY PRINCIPLE(Cf. ↑ability to pay principle), ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLE(Cf. ↑accounting principle), BENEFIT PRINCIPLE(Cf. ↑benefit principle), THE PARETO PRINCIPLE(Cf. ↑the Pareto principle), STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES(Cf. ↑statement of principles)

Financial and business terms. 2012.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • principle — principle, axiom, fundamental, law, theorem are comparable when they denote a proposition or other formulation stating a fact or a generalization accepted as true and basic. Principle applies to a generalization that provides a basis for… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Principle — Prin ci*ple, n. [F. principe, L. principium beginning, foundation, fr. princeps, cipis. See {Prince}.] 1. Beginning; commencement. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Doubting sad end of principle unsound. Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. A source, or origin; that… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • principle — I (axiom) noun accepted belief, adage, admitted maxim, article of belief, article of faith, assertion, assurance, basic doctrine, basic law, basic rule, basic truth, belief, canon, conviction, credo, declaration of faith, decretum, doctrine,… …   Law dictionary

  • principle — [prin′sə pəl] n. [ME, altered < MFr principe < L principium: see PRINCIPIUM] 1. the ultimate source, origin, or cause of something 2. a natural or original tendency, faculty, or endowment 3. a fundamental truth, law, doctrine, or motivating …   English World dictionary

  • principle — ► NOUN 1) a fundamental truth or proposition serving as the foundation for belief or action. 2) a rule or belief governing one s personal behaviour. 3) morally correct behaviour and attitudes. 4) a general scientific theorem or natural law. 5) a… …   English terms dictionary

  • principle — late 14c., fundamental truth or proposition, from Anglo Fr. principle, O.Fr. principe, from L. principium (plural principia) a beginning, first part, from princeps (see PRINCE (Cf. prince)). Meaning origin, source is attested from early 15c.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • principle — [n1] law, standard assumption, axiom, basis, canon, convention, criterion, dictum, doctrine, dogma, ethic, form, formula, foundation, fundamental, golden rule*, ground, maxim, origin, postulate, precept, prescript, principium, proposition,… …   New thesaurus

  • Principle — Prin ci*ple, v. t. [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. [1913 Webster] Governors should be… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • principle — /prin seuh peuhl/, n. 1. an accepted or professed rule of action or conduct: a person of good moral principles. 2. a fundamental, primary, or general law or truth from which others are derived: the principles of modern physics. 3. a fundamental… …   Universalium

  • principle — noun 1 basic general rule ADJECTIVE ▪ basic, broad, central, fundamental, general, underlying ▪ the basic principles of car maintenance ▪ b …   Collocations dictionary


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