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From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishprincipalprin‧ci‧pal1 /ˈprɪnsəpəl/ ●●○ W2 AWL adjective [only before noun]  MAINmost important syn main His principal reason for making the journey was to visit his family. Teaching is her principal source of income. the principal character in the booksee thesaurus at important, main principally
Examples from the Corpus
principalThe principal component, as always, is lack of language proficiency.And in fact public shaming was one of the principal functions of police registration and surveillance.The principal method of inquiry is analysis of company records and other contemporary sources.Drafting cables to be dispatched to Washington is one of the principal occupations of the foreign service officer in the field.Your taxes depend on where your principal residence is located.After about two miles, I take the left fork and keep to the principal route.Oil is the country's principal source of income.The important properties of these three principal volcanic rock groups can be summarized in simple tables.
Related topics: Education, Performing, Finance
principalprincipal2 ●●○ noun  1 school [countable] American EnglishSE someone who is in charge of a school syn headteacher British English a small school with just three teachers and the principalsee thesaurus at teacher2 university/collegeSE [countable] British English someone who is in charge of a university or college3 business [countable] American English the main person in a business or organization, who can make important business decisions and is legally responsible for them The principal of the business has an office in New York.4 performer [countable]AP the main performer in a play or in a group of musicians, dancers etc She later became a principal with the Royal Ballet.5 money [singular] technicalBFMONEY the original amount of money that is lent to someone, not including any of the interest
Examples from the Corpus
principalInsured bonds carry a pledge from a private backer to pay interest and principal on the bonds if the issuer defaults.Another teacher who moved me was an assistant principal named Cho, who doubled as a history teacher.His comments on Paul Caton, the deputy principal, were gratuitously offensive.Each son has a career in education -- three teachers and one principal.Major Jack Tilley warmed up the troops much in the fashion of a jovial high school principal preparing students for graduation.Once, after he had been absent a fortnight, the principal tackled his parents.In the course of acting for each of their principals, estate agents will acquire information confidential to that principal.The government will also receive inflation-adjusted 12 percent interest on the unpaid principal.
From Longman Business Dictionaryprincipalprin‧ci‧pal1 /ˈprɪnsəpəl/ noun1[singular]FINANCE the original amount of a loan, not including any of the interest that is paidThe loan amounts outstanding totaled about $32.2 million in principal and $2.2 million in interest.No principal is due for repayment until next year.2[countable] an important person, manager etc in some types of organization, who may be legally responsible for its actionsMr O'Brien is a principal of the Law and Economics Consulting Group.3[countable]LAW the actual buyer and the seller in a business deal, rather than the people who represent them, or BROKERs who buy and sell for themNone of the principals would comment on the purchase price.principalprincipal2 adjective1most important SYN MAINPortland is one of the principal unloading points for Japanese automobiles.Gulf’s strategy of concentrating on its principal business of oil and gas productionAs principal shareholders in the company, no one has a greater interest in its management.Baxter Healthcare is the principal subsidiary of Baxter International Inc. (=the largest company owned by them).Teaching is her primary source of income.the country’s principal trading partner2FINANCE relating to the original amount of a loan, rather than any interestThe total principal amount of debentures being sold was increased to $75 million.A new government may be unwilling to repay interest on the principal sum loaned.
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