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precept

[pree-sept] /ˈpri sɛpt/
noun
1.
a commandment or direction given as a rule of action or conduct.
2.
an injunction as to moral conduct; maxim.
3.
a procedural directive or rule, as for the performance of some technical operation.
4.
Law.
  1. a writ or warrant.
  2. a written order issued pursuant to law, as a sheriff's order for an election.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English < Latin praeceptum piece of advice, rule, noun use of neuter of praeceptus, past participle of praecipere to direct, foresee, literally, to take beforehand, equivalent to prae- pre- + -cep-, combining form of capere to take + -tus past participle suffix
Can be confused
percept, precept.
Synonyms
1. directive, order, guide, instruction, prescription.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for precept
  • It's not logical by any means, but it's a known precept in the marketing world.
  • Both by precept and by example they did honour to their native tongue.
  • Fairness is another basic management precept that is too often lost in the shuffle.
  • The breach of this precept is 'pride'.
  • Not every precept of good governance makes sense for businesses as special as banks.
  • His theory was better than his precept.
  • Calatrava has defied the key precept of modernist architecture, that form must follow function.
  • Charity is not a figurative precept.
  • To teach successfully, we must teach both by precept and example.
  • The golden rule is a fine precept, but it's not always obvious what other people would like done unto them.
British Dictionary definitions for precept

precept

/ˈpriːsɛpt/
noun
1.
a rule or principle for action
2.
a guide or rule for morals; maxim
3.
a direction, esp for a technical operation
4.
(law)
  1. a writ or warrant
  2. a written order to a sheriff to arrange an election, the empanelling of a jury, etc
  3. (in England) an order to collect money under a rate
Word Origin
C14: from Latin praeceptum maxim, injunction, from praecipere to admonish, from prae before + capere to take
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for precept
precept
1382, from L. præceptum "maxim, rule, order," prop. neuter pp. of præcipere "give rules to, order, advise," lit. "take beforehand," from præ- "before" + capere (pp. captus) "to take" (see capable).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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