Definition of principal

1. Primary; most important.
Smith is the principal architect of this design.
The principal cause of the failure was poor planning.
2. Of or relating to a prince; princely.
3. The money originally invested or loaned, on which basis interest and returns are calculated.
A portion of your mortgage payment goes to reduce the principal, and the rest covers interest.
4. The chief administrator of a school.
5. The chief executive and chief academic officer of a university or college.
6. One who directs another (the agent) to act on one's behalf.
When an attorney represents a client, the client is the principal who permits the attorney, the client's agent, to act on the client's behalf.
7. The primary participant in a crime.
8. A company represented by a salesperson.
My principal sells metal shims.
9. North America A partner or owner of a business.
10. A diapason, a type of organ stop on a pipe organ.
11. The construction that gives shape and strength to a roof, generally a truss of timber or iron; or, loosely, the most important member of a piece of framing.
12. The first two long feathers of a hawk's wing.
13. One of the turrets or pinnacles of waxwork and tapers with which the posts and centre of a funeral hearse were formerly crowned.
14. An essential point or rule; a principle.
15. A dancer at the highest rank within a professional dance company, particularly a ballet company.
© Wordnet 3.1 & Wiktionary - Combined dictionary for best results.

Example Sentences

A principal characteristic is that it has a lot more seeds than traditional tobacco plants.
(Source: Voice of America)
pronunciation pronunciation
More so since this state is already suffering from a severe drought that has weakened its principal source of wealth its agricultural products.
(Source: Voice of America)
pronunciation pronunciation
It is there the Snow Queen has her summer palace. Her real fortress – her principal castle – is near the North Pole, on an island called Spitzbergen.
pronunciation pronunciation
It was precisely in Hong Kong that one of her relatives resided a Parsee, like her, and one of the principal merchants of the city.
pronunciation pronunciation
And so when I got this offer from Paris, I determined to make your portrait the principal thing in my exhibition.
pronunciation pronunciation
Rossi roared into the assigned hotel meeting room like an angry school principal about to scold his students.
pronunciation pronunciation
The principal is reponsible for the students at this school.
pronunciation pronunciation
“Today, cooperation with the states of Latin America is one of the principal and most promising lines of Russian foreign policy,” Putin told the state Cuban news agency Prensa Latina.
(Voice of America)
pronunciation pronunciation
and the principal inhabitants. Like the women, they all stared in astonishment at the owner of the castle. He was the most unexpected of apparitions. While so many were fleeing toward Paris, this Parisian had come to join them
pronunciation pronunciation
Reckoning principal and interest, to a million pounds sterling.
pronunciation pronunciation

dictionary extension