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.
Governors should be well
Let an enthusiast be principled that he or his
teacher is inspired. Locke.
Prin"ci*ple (?), n. [F. principe,
L. principium beginning, foundation, fr. princeps, -
cipis. See Prince.] 1. Beginning;
Doubting sad end of principle
2. A source, or origin; that from which
anything proceeds; fundamental substance or energy; primordial
substance; ultimate element, or cause.
The soul of man is an active
3. An original faculty or endowment.
Nature in your principles hath set
Those active principles whose direct and
ultimate object is the communication either of enjoyment or
4. A fundamental truth; a comprehensive law or
doctrine, from which others are derived, or on which others are
founded; a general truth; an elementary proposition; a maxim; an
axiom; a postulate.
Therefore, leaving the principles of the
doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection. Heb.
A good principle, not rightly understood, may
prove as hurtful as a bad. Milton.
5. A settled rule of action; a governing law
of conduct; an opinion or belief which exercises a directing influence
on the life and behavior; a rule (usually, a right rule) of conduct
consistently directing one's actions; as, a person of no
All kinds of dishonesty destroy our pretenses to an
honest principle of mind. Law.
6. (Chem.) Any original inherent
constituent which characterizes a substance, or gives it its essential
properties, and which can usually be separated by analysis; -- applied
especially to drugs, plant extracts, etc.
Cathartine is the bitter, purgative principle of
Bitter principle, Principle of
contradiction, etc. See under Bitter,