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"It is often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them." [Adlai Stevenson, speech, New York City, Aug. 27, 1952]Hence principled "moral" (1697). Scientific sense of "general law of nature" is recorded from 1802.
principle prin·ci·ple (prĭn'sə-pəl)
A basic truth, law, or assumption.
A rule or law concerning the functioning of natural phenomena or mechanical processes.
One of the elements composing a chemical compound, especially one that gives some special quality or effect.
The essential ingredient in a drug.