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principalmore about principal


  3  definitions  found 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  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. 
  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. 
  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 
  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. 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  Principal  \Prin"ci*pal\,  a.  [F.,  from  L.  principalis  See 
  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. 
  Wisdom  is  the  principal  thing  --Prov.  iv  7. 
  2.  Of  or  pertaining  to  a  prince;  princely.  [A  Latinism] 
  [Obs.]  --Spenser. 
  {Principal  axis}.  See  {Axis  of  a  curve},  under  {Axis}. 
  {Principal  axes  of  a  quadric}  (Geom.),  three  lines  in  which 
  the  principal  planes  of  the  solid  intersect  two  and  two 
  as  in  an  ellipsoid. 
  {Principal  challenge}.  (Law)  See  under  {Challenge}. 
  {Principal  plane}.  See  {Plane  of  projection} 
  (a),  under  {Plane}. 
  {Principal  of  a  quadric}  (Geom.),  three  planes  each  of  which 
  is  at  right  angles  to  the  other  two  and  bisects  all 
  chords  of  the  quadric  perpendicular  to  the  plane,  as  in  an 
  {Principal  point}  (Persp.),  the  projection  of  the  point  of 
  sight  upon  the  plane  of  projection. 
  {Principal  ray}  (Persp.),  the  line  drawn  through  the  point  of 
  sight  perpendicular  to  the  perspective  plane. 
  {Principal  section}  (Crystallog.),  a  plane  passing  through 
  the  optical  axis  of  a  crystal. 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
  adj  :  most  important  element;  "the  chief  aim  of  living";  "the  main 
  doors  were  of  solid  glass";  "the  principal  rivers  of 
  America";  "the  principal  example";  "policemen  were 
  primary  targets"  [syn:  {chief(a)},  {main(a)},  {primary(a)}, 
  n  1:  the  original  amount  of  a  debt  on  which  interest  is 
  2:  the  educator  who  has  executive  authority  for  a  school;  "she 
  sent  unruly  pupils  to  see  the  principal"  [syn:  {school 
  principal},  {head  teacher},  {head}] 
  3:  an  actor  who  plays  a  principal  role  [syn:  {star},  {lead}] 
  4:  capital  as  contrasted  with  the  income  derived  from  it  [syn: 
  {corpus},  {principal  sum}] 
  5:  the  major  party  to  a  financial  transaction;  buys  and  sells 
  for  his  own  account  [syn:  {dealer}] 

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