What does principal mean?

Definitions for principal
ˈprɪn sə pəlprin·ci·pal

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word principal.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. principal(noun)

    the original amount of a debt on which interest is calculated

  2. principal, school principal, head teacher, head(noun)

    the educator who has executive authority for a school

    "she sent unruly pupils to see the principal"

  3. star, principal, lead(noun)

    an actor who plays a principal role

  4. principal, corpus, principal sum(noun)

    capital as contrasted with the income derived from it

  5. principal(noun)

    (criminal law) any person involved in a criminal offense, regardless of whether the person profits from such involvement

  6. principal, dealer(adj)

    the major party to a financial transaction at a stock exchange; buys and sells for his own account

  7. chief(a), main(a), primary(a), principal(a), master(a)(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"; "the master bedroom"; "a master switch"


  1. principal(Noun)

    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.

  2. principal(Noun)

    The chief administrator of a school.

  3. principal(Noun)

    The chief executive and chief academic officer of a university or college.

  4. principal(Noun)

    One who directs another (the agent) to act on oneu2032s behalf.

    When an attorney represents a client, the client is the principal who permits the attorney, the clientu2032s agent, to act on the clientu2032s behalf.

  5. principal(Noun)

    The primary participant in a crime.

  6. principal(Noun)

    A company represented by a salesperson.

    My principal sells metal shims.

  7. principal(Noun)

    A partner or owner of a business.

  8. principal(Noun)

    A diapason, a type of organ stop on a pipe organ.

  9. principal(Adjective)

    Primary; most important.

  10. Origin: From principalis.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Principal(adj)

    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

  2. Principal(adj)

    of or pertaining to a prince; princely

  3. Principal(noun)

    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

  4. Principal(noun)

    the chief actor in a crime, or an abettor who is present at it, -- as distinguished from an accessory

  5. Principal(noun)

    a chief obligor, promisor, or debtor, -- as distinguished from a surety

  6. Principal(noun)

    one who employs another to act for him, -- as distinguished from an agent

  7. Principal(noun)

    a thing of chief or prime importance; something fundamental or especially conspicuous

  8. Principal(noun)

    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

  9. Principal(noun)

    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 framing

  10. Principal(noun)

    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

  11. Principal(noun)

    a heirloom; a mortuary

  12. Principal(noun)

    the first two long feathers of a hawk's wing

  13. Principal(noun)

    one of turrets or pinnacles of waxwork and tapers with which the posts and center of a funeral hearse were formerly crowned

  14. Principal(noun)

    a principal or essential point or rule; a principle

  15. Origin: [F., from L. principalis. See Prince.]


  1. Principal

    A principal in computer security is an entity that can be authenticated by a computer system or network. It is referred to as a security principal in Java and Microsoft literature. Principals can be individual people, computers, services, computational entities such as processes and threads, or any group of such things. They need to be identified and authenticated before they can be assigned rights and privileges over resources in the network. A principal typically has an associated identifier that allows it to be referenced for identification or assignment of properties and permissions.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Principal

    prin′si-pal, adj. taking the first place: highest in rank, character, or importance: chief.—n. a principal person or thing: a head, as of a school or college: one who takes a leading part: money on which interest is paid: (archit.) a main beam or timber: (law) the person who commits a crime, or one who aids and abets him in doing it: a person for whom another becomes surety, a person who, being sui juris, employs another to do an act which he is competent himself to do: (mus.) an organ-stop: (Shak.) the principal rafter.—n. Principal′ity, supreme power: the territory of a prince or the country which gives title to him: (B.) a prince: (obs.) a power: (pl.) an order of angels, the seventh in the hierarchy of Dionysius.—adv. Prin′cipally.—ns. Prin′cipalness, the state of being principal or chief; Prin′cipalship, position of a principal; Prin′cipate, primary: a principality, esp. the office of the ancient Roman emperors. [L. principalis.]

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'principal' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2488

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'principal' in Nouns Frequency: #2743

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'principal' in Adjectives Frequency: #337

How to pronounce principal?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say principal in sign language?

  1. principal


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of principal in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of principal in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of principal in a Sentence

  1. George MacDonald:

    The principal part of faith is patience.

  2. Edwin Ivanauskas:

    What goes toward the principal is $200 more a month.

  3. Chen Chen:

    Many clients like this product, because it's principal-guaranteed.

  4. Thomas Fuller:

    Light, God's eldest daughter, is a principal beauty in a building.

  5. Guy Ritchie:

    My principal job was to entertain my five kids and my Disneyphile of a wife.

Images & Illustrations of principal

  1. principalprincipalprincipalprincipalprincipal

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for principal

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مديرة, رئيسي, مديرArabic
  • প্রধান শিক্ষকBengali
  • hlavníCzech
  • rektorDanish
  • Schulvorsteher, Schulleiter, Schulleiterin, Schulvorsteherin, Schuldirektor, hauptsächlichGerman
  • kapitalo, precipa, lernejestroEsperanto
  • principal de escuela, jefe de estudios, principal, director, director de escuelaSpanish
  • pää-, rehtori, pääasiallinenFinnish
  • directeur, proviseur, directrice, proviseure, principalFrench
  • ard-ven-ynsee, ard-ynseyder, ard-venainshtyr, bun-argid, ard-vainshtyr, ard-er-ynseeManx
  • מְנַהֵל, מְנַהֶלֶתHebrew
  • Hungarian
  • principale, preside, capitaleItalian
  • 校長, 主要な, 学校長Japanese
  • atuarfiit pisortaat, atuarfiup pisortaaKalaallisut, Greenlandic
  • 校長, 원금, 학교 교장, 주요한, 교장Korean
  • kapitalasLithuanian
  • tumuaki, aporeiMāori
  • schoolhoofd, voornaamste, rector, principaalDutch
  • rektorNorwegian
  • kapitał, podstawowy, głównyPolish
  • principal, diretorPortuguese
  • principal, directorRomanian
  • [[основной, главный, директри́са, ре́ктор, дире́ктор, основной, [[основно́й]] [[долг]]Russian
  • glávenSlovene
  • kapitalbelopp, huvudsaklig, kapital, rektorSwedish
  • หลักThai
  • asılTurkish
  • 校長, chủ yếu, chính, hiệu trưởngVietnamese
  • 主要Chinese

Get even more translations for principal »


Find a translation for the principal definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • Chinese - Simplified 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • Chinese - Traditional 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Spanish Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • Japanese 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Portuguese Português (Portuguese)
  • German Deutsch (German)
  • Arabic العربية (Arabic)
  • French Français (French)
  • Russian Русский (Russian)
  • Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • Korean 한국어 (Korean)
  • Hebrew עברית (Hebrew)
  • Ukrainian Український (Ukrainian)
  • Urdu اردو (Urdu)
  • Hungarian Magyar (Hungarian)
  • Hindi मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesian Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italian Italiano (Italian)
  • Tamil தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Turkish Türkçe (Turkish)
  • Telugu తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • Thai ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Vietnamese Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Czech Čeština (Czech)
  • Polish Polski (Polish)
  • Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Romanian Românește (Romanian)
  • Dutch Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Greek Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latin Latinum (Latin)
  • Swedish Svenska (Swedish)
  • Danish Dansk (Danish)
  • Finnish Suomi (Finnish)
  • Persian فارسی (Persian)
  • Yiddish ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • Armenian հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norwegian Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English English (English)

Discuss these principal definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"principal." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 9 Dec. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/principal>.

Are we missing a good definition for principal? Don't keep it to yourself...

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for principal:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.