Difference between PRINCIPAL and PRINCIPLE

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A principle is a fundamental idea, belief, philosophy, or rule:

  • My daughter is learning the basic principles of physics in her science class.
  • Power in the hands of the people is one of the key principles of democracy.
  • He would never steal from the company – he’s a man of high principles.

PRINCIPAL (noun, adjective)

The word principal has three meanings:

1.     As an adjective: the main or most important

  • The lake is the principal water source for the city.

2.     As a noun: the director of an elementary, middle, or high school

  • Students who misbehave are sent to the principal’s office.

3.     As a noun (finance): the original amount of a debt (not counting the interest – the extra money that accumulates over time as the debt is not paid):

  • At a 10% interest rate, a principal of $1,000 will accumulate $100 of interest.

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