Principal may refer to:


The head of an educational institution:
*Principal (school), head of a primary or secondary school
*Principal (university), chief executive of a university
**Dean (education), a person with significant authority
**Provost (education), chief academic officer of a university
**Chancellor (education), the head of a university


*Principal (commercial law), a person who authorises an agent to act to create a legal relationship with a third party
* Principal (criminal law), one (or more) primary actor(s) in a criminal offense for which other actors may be criminally liable as accomplices, accessories or conspirators

Other uses

* Principal sum, the original amount of a debt or investment on which interest is calculated
* Organ stop on a pipe organ
* A musician in an orchestra who either plays the first part (wind instruments), or who sits in the first chair and leads a section (of string instruments) in playing the same part
* A performer in an opera or musical who takes a more or less prominent part in the action, and sings solo or in small ensembles
* Principal value, values along a chosen branch of a multivalued function
** The principal values of the different inverse trigonometric functions are a common example.
* Principal branch, a special selected branch of a multivalued function
* Principal ideal, in ring theory in mathematics, an ideal with a single generator, and the related concept of principal ideal domains
* The Cauchy Principal Value of an integral, in mathematics, a way of assigning a finite value to improper integrals that seem to diverge
* Principal (Civil Service) or Principal Officer, a senior management grade (now grade 7) in the British Civil Service and the Irish Civil Service
* A security principal is an entity that can be positively identified and verified via a technique known as Authentication
* Principal, Cape Verde, a village
* Principal Financial Group, a life insurance company traded on the NYSE

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • principal — principal, ale, aux [ prɛ̃sipal, o ] adj. et n. • 1119; « princier » 1080; lat. principalis « principal, du prince », de princeps I ♦ Adj. 1 ♦ Qui est le plus important, le premier parmi plusieurs. ⇒ 1. capital, essentiel, fondamental, primordial …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • principal — prin·ci·pal 1 / prin sə pəl/ adj 1: being the main or most important, consequential, or influential their principal place of business the principal obligor 2: of, relating to, or constituting principal or a principal the principal amount of the… …   Law dictionary

  • principal — principal, ale 1. (prin si pal, pa l ) adj. 1°   Qui est le plus considérable, en parlant de personnes. Les principaux magistrats. •   Quand on bâtit une maison, quoique les maçons, les charpentiers, les plombiers, les menuisiers travaillent bien …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • principal — Principal, Estre le Principal et plus excellent, Primas partes in re aliqua agere, Principatum tenere. Pansa a esté nostre principal aide et secours, Principem habuimus Pansam. Laquelle chose est la principale et la meilleure, et la plus forte,… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • principal — PRINCIPÁL, Ă, principali, e, adj. Care are o importanţă deosebită sau cea mai mare importanţă; de căpetenie, de frunte. ♢ (gram.) Propoziţie principală (şi substantivat, f.) = propoziţie independentă dintr o frază, de care depind propoziţiile… …   Dicționar Român

  • Principal — Prin ci*pal, a. [F., from L. principalis. See {Prince}.] 1. 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • principal — (Del lat. principālis). 1. adj. Dicho de una persona o de una cosa: Que tiene el primer lugar en estimación o importancia y se antepone y prefiere a otras. 2. Dicho de una persona: Que es la primera en un negocio o en cuya cabeza está. 3.… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • principal — principal, principle The spellings are occasionally confused even by the wariest users of English, the usual mistake being to use principle for the adjective principal. Principal is an adjective and noun and essentially means ‘chief’ (my… …   Modern English usage

  • principal — [prin′sə pəl] adj. [OFr < L principalis < princeps: see PRINCE] 1. first in rank, authority, importance, degree, etc. 2. that is or has to do with PRINCIPAL (n. 3) n. 1. a principal person or thing; specif., a) a ch …   English World dictionary

  • Principal — Prin ci*pal, n. 1. 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} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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