# Principle vs. Characteristics — What's the Difference?

## Compare with Definitions

#### Principle

A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule that has to be or usually is to be followed.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Characteristics

Being a feature that helps to distinguish a person or thing; distinctive
Heard my friend's characteristic laugh.
The stripes that are characteristic of the zebra.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning
The basic principles of justice
Sep 24, 2021

#### Characteristics

A feature that helps to identify, tell apart, or describe recognizably; a distinguishing mark or trait.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A general scientific theorem or law that has numerous special applications across a wide field.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Characteristics

(Mathematics) The integral part of a logarithm as distinguished from the mantissa
The characteristic of the logarithm 6.3214 is 6.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A fundamental source or basis of something
The first principle of all things was water
Sep 24, 2021

#### Characteristics

(Mathematics) The least number of times the multiplicative identity in a ring needs to be added to itself to reach the additive identity, or, if the additive identity is never reached, zero. The integers have a characteristic of zero; the integers modulo 12 have a characteristic of 12.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A basic truth, law, or assumption
The principles of democracy.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Characteristics

Plural of characteristic
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A rule or standard, especially of good behavior
A man of principle.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

The collectivity of moral or ethical standards or judgments
A decision based on principle rather than expediency.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A fixed or predetermined policy or mode of action.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A basic or essential quality or element determining intrinsic nature or characteristic behavior
The principle of self-preservation.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A rule or law concerning the functioning of natural phenomena or mechanical processes
The principle of jet propulsion.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

(Chemistry) One of the elements that compose a substance, especially one that gives some special quality or effect.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A basic source. See Usage Note at principal.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A fundamental assumption or guiding belief.
We need some sort of principles to reason from.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A rule used to choose among solutions to a problem.
The principle of least privilege holds that a process should only receive the permissions it needs.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

Moral rule or aspect.
You are clearly a person of principle.
It's the principle of the thing; I won't do business with someone I can't trust.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

(physics) A rule or law of nature, or the basic idea on how the laws of nature are applied.
Bernoulli's Principle
The Pauli Exclusion Principle prevents two fermions from occupying the same state.
The principle of the internal combustion engine
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A fundamental essence, particularly one producing a given quality.
Many believe that life is the result of some vital principle.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A source, or origin; that from which anything proceeds; fundamental substance or energy; primordial substance; ultimate element, or cause.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

An original faculty or endowment.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

Misspelling of principal
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

(obsolete) A beginning.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

(transitive) To equip with principles; to establish, or fix, in certain principles; to impress with any tenet or rule of conduct.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

Beginning; commencement.
Doubting sad end of principle unsound.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A source, or origin; that from which anything proceeds; fundamental substance or energy; primordial substance; ultimate element, or cause.
The soul of man is an active principle.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

An original faculty or endowment.
Nature in your principles hath set [benignity].
Those active principles whose direct and ultimate object is the communication either of enjoyment or suffering.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A fundamental truth; a comprehensive law or doctrine, from which others are derived, or on which others are founded; a general truth; an elementary proposition; a maxim; an axiom; a postulate.
Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection.
A good principle, not rightly understood, may prove as hurtful as a bad.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A settled rule of action; a governing law of conduct; an opinion or belief which exercises a directing influence on the life and behavior; a rule (usually, a right rule) of conduct consistently directing one's actions; as, a person of no principle.
All kinds of dishonesty destroy our pretenses to an honest principle of mind.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

Any original inherent constituent which characterizes a substance, or gives it its essential properties, and which can usually be separated by analysis; - applied especially to drugs, plant extracts, etc.
Cathartine is the bitter, purgative principle of senna.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

To equip with principles; to establish, or fix, in certain principles; to impress with any tenet, or rule of conduct, good or ill.
Governors should be well principled.
Let an enthusiast be principled that he or his teacher is inspired.
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct;
Their principles of composition characterized all their works
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A rule or standard especially of good behavior;
A man of principle
He will not violate his principles
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A basic truth or law or assumption;
The principles of democracy
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

A rule or law concerning a natural phenomenon or the function of a complex system;
The principle of the conservation of mass
The principle of jet propulsion
The right-hand rule for inductive fields
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

Rule of personal conduct
Sep 24, 2021

#### Principle

(law) an explanation of the fundamental reasons (especially an explanation of the working of some device in terms of laws of nature);
The rationale for capital punishment
The principles of internal-combustion engines
Sep 24, 2021