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[prin-sip-ee-uh m]
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noun, plural prin·cip·i·a [prin-sip-ee-uh] /prɪnˈsɪp i ə/.
  1. a principle.
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Origin of principium

1575–85; < Latin prīncipium literally, that which is first, equivalent to prīncip- (see prince) + -ium -ium
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for principium

Historical Examples

  • Such a one has broken the fetters of the principium individuationis.

    The Basis of Morality

    Arthur Schopenhauer

  • He traces back its origin to God himself—ab Jove principium.

    What is Property?

    P. J. Proudhon

  • Aiunt hretici temporis nostri quod duo sunt principia rerum, principium lucis et principium tenebrarum, &c.

  • Thus, the general rule would be to begin with Homer: a Jove principium.

  • The principium or perfection of cognition is to be found in the immediate proposition, true per se.


    George Grote

British Dictionary definitions for principium


noun plural -ia (-ɪə)
  1. (usually plural) a principle, esp a fundamental one
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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