Definition of principal noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈprɪnsəpl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈprɪnsəpl//
    People in schools, University people, School life
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  1. 1(British English) the person who is in charge of a college or a university Peter Brown, principal of St John’s College see also dean See related entries: University people
  2. 2(North American English) (British English head teacher) a teacher who is in charge of a school Principal Ray Smith See related entries: People in schools, School life
  3. 3[usually singular] (finance) an amount of money that you lend to somebody or invest to earn interest
  4. 4the person who has the most important part in a play, an opera, etc. The performance of the two principals is disappointing.
  5. 5(specialist) a person that you are representing, especially in business or law The shareholders are principals and the managers are agents.
  6. Word OriginMiddle English: via Old French from Latin principalis ‘first, original’, from princeps, princip- ‘first, chief’.Extra examples She was appointed as the first principal of Cambridge Training College. The college principal says he’s pleased with this year’s results. The principal must be repaid in full within ten years. The regulations have been opposed by local high school principals.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: principal