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[prin-sip-ee-uh m] /prɪnˈsɪp i əm/
noun, plural principia
[prin-sip-ee-uh] /prɪnˈsɪp i ə/ (Show IPA)
a principle.
Origin of principium
1575-85; < Latin prīncipium literally, that which is first, equivalent to prīncip- (see prince) + -ium -ium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for principia
Historical Examples
  • All these discoveries were brought together in that immortal work, Newton's "principia."

    Great Astronomers R. S. Ball
  • Descartes' principia and his Meditationes were written in Latin.

  • When Newton heard of it he began the principia, working in silence.

    Pioneers of Science Oliver Lodge
  • It was by this continuous application that the principia was accomplished.

    Pioneers of Science Oliver Lodge
  • No sooner was the principia put than Hooke put in his claims for priority.

    Pioneers of Science Oliver Lodge
  • All these deductions are fundamental, and may be considered as the foundation of the principia.

    Pioneers of Science Oliver Lodge
  • This is published in the principia as a fact, without comment.

    Pioneers of Science Oliver Lodge
  • It was only in the second edition of the principia that the theory of comets was introduced.

    Pioneers of Science Oliver Lodge
  • You know that Newton said it cost him more labour than all the rest of the principia.

    Pioneers of Science Oliver Lodge
  • Descartes wrote a work with this title, principia Philosophi.

British Dictionary definitions for principia


noun (pl) -ia (-ɪə)
(usually pl) a principle, esp a fundamental one
Word Origin
C17: Latin: an origin, beginning
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for principia

"fundamental principles," plural of Latin principium "beginning, origin" (see principle (n.)). Especially as the short form of the title of Newton's book (published 1687).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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