What does precept mean?

Definitions for precept
ˈpri sɛptpre·cept

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word precept.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. principle, preceptnoun

    rule of personal conduct

  2. teaching, precept, commandmentnoun

    a doctrine that is taught

    "the teachings of religion"; "he believed all the Christian precepts"


  1. preceptnoun

    A rule or principle, especially one governing personal conduct.

  2. preceptnoun

    A written command, especially a demand for payment.

  3. Etymology: From praeceptum, form of praecipere, from prae + capere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PRECEPTnoun

    A rule authoritatively given; a mandate; a commandment; a direction.

    Etymology: precepte, Fr. præceptum, Lat.

    The custom of lessons furnishes the very simplest and rudest sort with infallible axioms and precepts of sacred truth, delivered even in the very letter of the law of God. Richard Hooker.

    ’Tis sufficient, that painting be acknowledged for an art; for it follows, that no arts are without their precepts. Dryden.

    A precept or commandment consists in, and has respect to, some moral point of doctrine, viz. such as concerns our manners, and our inward and outward good behaviour. John Ayliffe.


  1. Precept

    A precept (from the Latin: præcipere, to teach) is a commandment, instruction, or order intended as an authoritative rule of action.


  1. precept

    A precept is a general rule or commandment that is intended to regulate behavior or thought. It's a guiding principle or instruction, often associated with moral or ethical standards.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Preceptverb

    to teach by precepts


  1. Precept

    A precept is a commandment, instruction, or order intended as an authoritative rule of action.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Precept

    prē′sept, n. rule of action: a commandment: principle, or maxim: (law) the written warrant of a magistrate: a mandate.—adj. Precep′tial (Shak.), consisting of precepts.—n. Precep′tion (obs.), a precept.—adj. Precep′tive, containing or giving precepts: directing in moral conduct: didactic.—n. Precep′tor, one who delivers precepts: a teacher: an instructor: the head of a school: the head of a preceptory of Knights Templars:—fem. Precep′tress.—adjs. Preceptō′rial; Precep′tory, giving precepts.—n. a religious house or college of the Knights Templars. [Fr.,—L. præceptumpræcipĕre, to take beforehand—præ, before, capĕre, to take.]

Editors Contribution

  1. precept

    A rule or principle governing personal conduct.

    A precept can be a decree which directly and legitimately gives a specific person or persons to do something, especially in order to encourage the observance of law.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 12, 2020  

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of precept in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of precept in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of precept in a Sentence

  1. Yamamoto Tsunetomo:

    A precept left by Lord Naoshige in his Writing on the Wall reads: Matters of Great Importance Should Be Decided Lightly. Master Ittei commented: Matters of Minor Importance Should Be Decided Seriously.

  2. Edmund Burke:

    It is by imitation, far more than by precept, that we learn everything; and what we learn thus, we acquire not only more efficiently, but more pleasantly. This forms our manners, our opinions, our lives.

  3. Rene Descartes:

    The first precept was never to accept a thing as true until I knew it as such without a single doubt.

  4. Denis Diderot:

    There is no moral precept that does not have something inconvenient about it.

  5. George Eliot:

    It is, I fear, but a vain show of fulfilling the heathen precept, Know thyself, and too often leads to a self-estimate which will subsist in the absence of that fruit by which alone the quality of the tree is made evident.

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Translations for precept

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"precept." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/precept>.

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