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Principles are laws or rules that have to be, or usually are followed, or can be desirably followed, or are an inevitable consequence of something, such as the laws observed in nature or the way that a system is constructed. The principles of such a system are understood by its users as the essential characteristics of the system, or reflecting system's designed purpose, and the effective operation or use of which would be impossible if any one of the principles was to be ignored.


  • A precedent embalms a principle.
    • Benjamin Disraeli, speech on the Expenditures of the Country (February 22, 1848); reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 633.
  • I don't believe in princerple,
    But, oh, I du in interest.
  • Ez to my princerples, I glory
    In hevin' nothin' o' the sort.
  • I wish to establish some sort of system not guided by chance but by some sort of definite and exact principle.
    • Dmitri Mendeleev, Lecture to the Russian Chemical Society as quoted in "Peering Into the Unseen—What Is Revealed?" in Awake! magazine (22 August 2000).
  • Treat the negro as a citizen and a voter, as he is and must remain, and soon parties will be divided, not on the color line, but on principle.

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