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[prin-sip-ee-uh m] /prɪnˈsɪp i əm/
noun, plural principia
[prin-sip-ee-uh] /prɪnˈsɪp i ə/ (Show IPA)
a principle.
Origin of principium
1575-85; < Latin prīncipium literally, that which is first, equivalent to prīncip- (see prince) + -ium -ium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for principia
Historical Examples
  • Before she was grown into a woman, she had mastered the principia of Newton.

    Household Education Harriet Martineau
  • All these discoveries were brought together in that immortal work, Newton's "principia."

    Great Astronomers R. S. Ball
  • The extent of ground and the measurement of the principia left no doubt that the whole was the work of three legions.

  • It belongs to the First Philosopher to discuss the principia of all.

    Aristotle George Grote
  • For sustained reflection and high philosophic thought it is to be ranked with the researches of Newton in the principia.

  • Few of my readers may have ever read Chaucer; fewer still the principia of Newton.

    Library Notes A. P. Russell
  • It was by this continuous application that the principia was accomplished.

    Pioneers of Science Oliver Lodge
  • When he was eighty-three he published a third edition of the "principia."

    Famous Men of Science Sarah K. Bolton
  • Such are some of the gems extracted from their setting in the principia, and presented as clearly as I am able before you.

    Pioneers of Science Oliver Lodge
  • In 1713 Cotes helped him to bring out a new edition of the principia, completed as we now have it.

    Pioneers of Science Oliver Lodge
British Dictionary definitions for principia


noun (pl) -ia (-ɪə)
(usually pl) a principle, esp a fundamental one
Word Origin
C17: Latin: an origin, beginning
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 principia

"fundamental principles," plural of Latin principium "beginning, origin" (see principle (n.)). Especially as the short form of the title of Newton's book (published 1687).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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