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 loan
principal 2 n
1: a participant in an action or transaction esp. having control or authority
the principal s of a business: as
a: one who engages another to act for him or her subject to his or her general control or instruction: one from whom an agent derives authority to act compare fiduciary
b: one who commits a crime or instigates, encourages, or assists another to commit it esp. when constructively or actually present see also accessory 1
principal in the first degree: a principal under common law who intentionally commits and is actually or constructively present at the commission of a crime
principal in the second degree: a principal under common law who aids, encourages, or commands another to commit a crime and is actually or constructively present when it is committed
c: the person primarily liable on a legal obligation or one who will ultimately bear the burden because of a duty to indemnify another as distinguished from one (as an endorser, surety, or guarantor) who is secondarily liable
2: a capital sum earning interest, due as a debt, or used as a fund
shall receive the income from the trust until age 18, and thereafter the principal
payments shall be applied first to interest and then to principal; also: the main body of an estate, devise, or bequest

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

principal
I adjective cardinal, chief, controlling, dominant, essential, first, foremost, hegemonic, hegemonical, highest, leading, main, most considerable, most important, most powerful, outstanding, paramount, predominant, preeminent, prevailing, primal, primary, prime, primus, princeps, principalis, prominent, ruling, stellar, supereminent, supreme associated concepts: principal activity, principal contract, principal contractor, principal obligation, principal place of business, principal sum, principal wrongdoing foreign phrases:
- Omne principale trah it ad se accessorium. — Every principal thing draws the accessory to itself
- Quae accessionum locum obtinent, extinguuntur cum principales res peremptae fuerint. — When the principal thing is destroyed, those things which are accessory to it are also destroyed
- Sublato principali, tollitur adjunctum. — By the removal of the principal thing, the adjunct is also taken
II (capital sum) noun assets, assets in hand, capital, caput, circulating capital, economic resources, fixed capital, fund, funds, gross amount, holdings, invested sum, main body, material assets, money, nummi, original sum, principal part, property, resources, sors, sum, sum total, tangible assets, totality, wealth, whole, working capital III (director) noun boss, chief, chief actor, chief authority, chief executive, chief party, chieftain, commandant, commander, controller, directing head, director, employer, engager of services, executive, executive officer, foreperson, governor, head, head person, magister, manager, master, overlooker, overseer, owner, person in authority, person in charge, proprietor, senior, superintendent, superior, supervisor, taskmaster associated concepts: partially disclosed principal, principal in the first degree, undisclosed principal foreign phrases:
- Nullus dicitur accessorius post feloniam, sed ille qui novit principalem feloniam feclsse, et ilium receptavlt et comfortavit. — No one is called an "accessory" after the fact but the one who knew the principal had committed a felony, and who received and comforted him
- Nullus dicitur felo principalis nisi actor, aut qui praesens est, abettans aut auxilians ad feioniam faciendam. — No one is called a principal felon except the party actually committing the felony, or the person who is present, aiding and abetting in its commission
- Res accessoria sequitur rem principalem. — An accessory follows the principal
- Qui per alium facit per seipsum facere videtur. — He who acts through another is deemed as having acted himself
- Ubl non est principalis, non potest esse accessorius. — Where there can be no principal, there cannot be an accessory
IV index accomplice, assets, cardinal (basic), cash, central (essential), chairman, chief, corpus, critical (crucial), director, dominant, fundamental, important (significant), leading (ranking first), major, material (important), necessary (required), noteworthy, outstanding (prominent), paramount, predominant, primary, prime (most valuable), professional (stellar), prominent, protagonist, salient, stellar, substantive, superlative, vital

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006


principal
adj.
Most important; main.
n.
(1) The person with the highest authority in some organization; the chief, such as the principal of a school.
(2) A person who directs an agent to act on his or her behalf.
(3) A person who commits a crime; the person directly responsible for a crime.
(4) A sum of money invested or borrowed, on which interest is paid or charged.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


principal
See agency.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.


principal
1) In commercial law, the total amount of a loan, not including any capitalized fees or interest.
2) When creating a power of attorney or other legal document, the person who appoints an attorney-in-fact or agent to act on his or her behalf.
3) In the law of trusts, the property of the trust, as opposed to the income generated by that property. The principal is also known as the trust corpus (that's Latin for "body").
4) In criminal law, the main perpetrator of a crime.
Category: Business, LLCs & Corporations
Category: Criminal Law
Category: Personal Finance & Retirement
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits
Category: Wills, Trusts & Estates → Living Wills & Medical Powers of Attorney
Category: Wills, Trusts & Estates → Living Trusts & Avoiding Probate
Category: Wills, Trusts & Estates → Financial Powers of Attorney

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


principal
1 adj. Of greatest importance.
2 n. One who authorizes another to act in his or her behalf as an agent; any person involved in the commission of a criminal act.
@ disclosed principal
A principal whose identity is shared by his or her agent with the third party.
=>> principal.
@ principal in the first degree
The actual perpetrator of a crime.
Compare principal in the second degree
=>> principal.
@ principal in the second degree
Someone who assists in some way the principal in the first degree.
Compare principal in the first degree
=>> principal.
@ undisclosed principal
A principal whose identity is kept secret by his agent. Both the undisclosed principal and the authorized agent are liable for fulfilling the provisions of a contract.
=>> principal.
@

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.


principal
A source of authority; a sum of a debt or obligation producing interest; the head of a school. In an agency relationship, the principal is the person who gives authority to another, called an agent, to act on his or her behalf. In criminal law, the principal is the chief actor or perpetrator of a crime; those who aid, abet, counsel, command, or induce the commission of a crime may also be principals. In investments and banking, the principal refers to the person for whom a broker executes an order; it may also mean the capital invested or the face amount of a loan.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


principal
A source of authority; a sum of a debt or obligation producing interest; the head of a school. In an agency relationship, the principal is the person who gives authority to another, called an agent, to act on his or her behalf. In criminal law, the principal is the chief actor or perpetrator of a crime; those who aid, abet, counsel, command, or induce the commission of a crime may also be principals. In investments and banking, the principal refers to the person for whom a broker executes an order; it may also mean the capital invested or the face amount of a loan.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

principal
n.
   1) main person in a business.
   2) employer, the person hiring and directing employees (agents) to perform his/her/its business. It is particularly important to determine who is the principal since he/she/it is responsible for the acts of agents in the "scope of employment" under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
   3) in criminal law, the main perpetrator (organizer and active committer) of a crime, as distinguished from an "accessory" who helps the principal in some fashion. The criminal principal is usually the person who originates the idea of committing the crime and/or directly carries it out, and is more likely to be charged with a higher degree of the crime, and receive a stiffer prison sentence.
   4) adj. chief, leading, highest.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — (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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