(New American Roget's College Thesaurus)
n. chief, leader, head; constituent, client; buyer, seller; capital, corpus. See money. —adj. foremost, chief, prime, greatest, main, leading. See importance.
(Roget's IV) modif.
Syn. leading, chief, first, head, primary, prime, main, foremost, cardinal, key, major, essential, capital, important, preeminent, highest, supreme, premier, prominent, dominant, predominant, predominating, supereminent, controlling, ruling, superior, prevailing, paramount, greatest, front rank, highest-ranking, top-ranking, ranking, starring, star, stellar, incomparable, peerless, matchless, transcendent, unequaled, unrivaled, unsurpassed, maximum, crowning, sovereign, second to none, ultimate, mainline, world-class, number one*.
Ant. unimportant*, secondary, accessory.
Syn.- principal is applied to the thing or person having precedence over all others by reason of size, position, importance, etc. [ the principal rivers of Africa ] ; chief is applied to a person or thing first in rank, authority, importance, significance, etc., and usually connotes subordination of all others [chief executive officer, the chief advantages ] ; main , in strict usage, is applied to the thing, often part of a system or an extensive whole, that is preeminent in size, power, importance, etc. [ the main line of a railroad ] ; leading may stress capacity for guiding, conducting, or drawing others as well as implying a position first in importance or rank [ a leading light of the community ] ; foremost suggests being first by having moved ahead to that position [ the foremost statesman of our time ] ; capital is applied to that which is ranked at the head of its kind or class because of its importance or its special significance [ the capital city ] n.
Syn. chief, head, chief party, master; see administrator .
(Roget's 3 Superthesaurus)
1. chief head, actor, performer, player, star, combatant.
2. headmaster dean.
main, major, chief, leading, primary, dominant, foremost, supreme, star, key, most important.
ANT.: secondary, supporting, minor
(Roget's Thesaurus II) I adjective 1. Most important, influential, or significant: capital, cardinal, chief, first, foremost, key, leading, main, major, number one, paramount, premier, primary, prime, top. See IMPORTANT. 2. Having or exercising authority: chief, head. See OVER. II noun The main performer in a theatrical production: lead, protagonist, star. See PERFORMING ARTS.

English dictionary for students. 2013.


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  • 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 — may refer to: Education 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… …   Wikipedia

  • 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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