Why was clemency trending last week?


[prin-suh-puh-lee, -sip-lee] /ˈprɪn sə pə li, -sɪp li/
chiefly; mainly.
Origin of principally
1300-50; Middle English; see principal, -ly
primarily. See especially. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for principally
  • Antihistamines act principally by blocking the action of histamine at receptors located on the blood vessels in the nose.
  • Energy waves can be redirected or even split by several methods, principally refraction or mirroring.
  • And a lack of demand principally comes from household debt.
  • He was charged with failing to report gifts, principally in the form of renovations to a small house he owned.
  • The telephone, though it became popular with consumers relatively quickly, was first used principally as a business tool.
  • Its other main use is principally social, and defensive.
  • Manage the herd areas principally for mustangs, not sheep and cattle.
  • Those clients are principally coal, oil, and gas companies.
  • Wise heads still argue about whether the cold war was principally a long misunderstanding, a contest of ideals or a power rivalry.
  • They are principally weak because the financial crisis is caused by the buildup of leverage.
British Dictionary definitions for principally


mainly or most importantly
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 principally

mid-14c., "mostly, mainly; most importantly," from principal (adj.) + -ly (2). Late 14c. as "first of all." Meaning "for the most part" attested by 1832.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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