principle


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principle

1. a rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the behaviour of a system
2. Chem a constituent of a substance that gives the substance its characteristics and behaviour

Principle

 

the basic initial assumption of any theory, teaching, science, world view, or political organization; an individual’s internal conviction, which determines his relationship to reality, behavioral norms, and activity; the basic characteristic of the structure of any mechanism or apparatus.

principle

[′prin·sə·pəl]
(science and technology)
A scientific law which is highly general or fundamental, and from which other laws are derived.
References in classic literature ?
At this day it cannot but strike us as extraordinary, that it does not appear to have occurred to any one member of that assembly, which had laid down in terms so clear, so explicit, so unequivocal, the foundation of all just government, in the imprescriptible rights of man, and the transcendent sovereignty of the people, and who in those principles had set forth their only personal vindication from the charges of rebellion against their king, and of treason to their country, that their last crowning act was still to be performed upon the same principles.
Its incurable disease was an apostasy from the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
The efficacy of various principles is now well understood, which were either not known at all, or imperfectly known to the ancients.
It is evident that no other form would be reconcilable with the genius of the people of America; with the fundamental principles of the Revolution; or with that honorable determination which animates every votary of freedom, to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.
Were an answer to this question to be sought, not by recurring to principles, but in the application of the term by political writers, to the constitution of different States, no satisfactory one would ever be found.
This principle, therefore, prevented him from any thought of making his fortune by such means (for this, as I have said, is an active principle, and doth not content itself with knowledge or belief only).
And this affection he had fixed on the girl long before he could bring himself to attempt the possession of her person: for though his constitution urged him greatly to this, his principles no less forcibly restrained him.
It may be objected that the principle of selection has been reduced to methodical practice for scarcely more than three-quarters of a century; it has certainly been more attended to of late years, and many treatises have been published on the subject; and the result, I may add, has been, in a corresponding degree, rapid and important.
And does not the same principle hold in the sciences?
The King of Persia also very often reduces the Medes and Babylonians when they assume upon their former power: [1284b] and this is a principle which all governments whatsoever keep in their eye; even those which are best administered, as well as those which are not, do it; these for the sake of private utility, the others for the public good.
And he felt that this fact and what she expected of him called for something not fully defined in that code of principles by which he had hitherto steered his course in life.
For he truly engages in battle who endeavors to surmount all the difficulties and errors which prevent him from reaching the knowledge of truth, and he is overcome in fight who admits a false opinion touching a matter of any generality and importance, and he requires thereafter much more skill to recover his former position than to make great advances when once in possession of thoroughly ascertained principles. As for myself, if I have succeeded in discovering any truths in the sciences (and I trust that what is contained in this volume 1 will show that I have found some), I can declare that they are but the consequences and results of five or six principal difficulties which I have surmounted, and my encounters with which I reckoned as battles in which victory declared for me.