VS.

Principle vs. Theory

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Principlenoun

A fundamental assumption or guiding belief.

‘We need some sort of principles to reason from.’;

Theorynoun

(obsolete) Mental conception; reflection, consideration.

Principlenoun

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.’;

Theorynoun

(sciences) A coherent statement or set of ideas that explains observed facts or phenomena and correctly predicts new facts or phenomena not previously observed, or which sets out the laws and principles of something known or observed; a hypothesis confirmed by observation, experiment etc.

Principlenoun

Moral rule or aspect.

‘I don't doubt your principles.’; ‘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.’;

Theorynoun

(uncountable) The underlying principles or methods of a given technical skill, art etc., as opposed to its practice.

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Principlenoun

(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’;

Theorynoun

(mathematics) A field of study attempting to exhaustively describe a particular class of constructs.

‘Knot theory classifies the mappings of a circle into 3-space.’;

Principlenoun

A fundamental essence, particularly one producing a given quality.

‘Many believe that life is the result of some vital principle.’;

Theorynoun

A hypothesis or conjecture.

Principlenoun

(obsolete) A beginning.

Theorynoun

A set of axioms together with all statements derivable from them. Equivalently, a formal language plus a set of axioms (from which can then be derived theorems).

‘A theory is consistent if it has a model.’;

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Principlenoun

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

Theorynoun

A doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in speculation or contemplation, without a view to practice; hypothesis; speculation.

Principlenoun

An original faculty or endowment.

Theorynoun

An exposition of the general or abstract principles of any science; as, the theory of music.

Principleverb

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

Theorynoun

The science, as distinguished from the art; as, the theory and practice of medicine.

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Principlenoun

Beginning; commencement.

‘Doubting sad end of principle unsound.’;

Theorynoun

The philosophical explanation of phenomena, either physical or moral; as, Lavoisier's theory of combustion; Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments.

Principlenoun

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.’;

Theorynoun

a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena;

‘theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses’; ‘true in fact and theory’;

Principlenoun

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.’;

Theorynoun

a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena;

‘a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory’; ‘he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices’;

Principlenoun

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.’;

Theorynoun

a belief that can guide behavior;

‘the architect has a theory that more is less’; ‘they killed him on the theory that dead men tell no tales’;

Principlenoun

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.’;

Theory

A theory is a rational type of abstract thinking about a phenomenon, or the results of such thinking. The process of contemplative and rational thinking is often associated with such processes as observational study or research.

Principlenoun

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.’;

Principleverb

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.’;

Principlenoun

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’;

Principlenoun

a rule or standard especially of good behavior;

‘a man of principle’; ‘he will not violate his principles’;

Principlenoun

a basic truth or law or assumption;

‘the principles of democracy’;

Principlenoun

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’;

Principlenoun

rule of personal conduct

Principlenoun

(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’;

Principlenoun

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’;

Principlenoun

a rule or belief governing one's behaviour

‘she resigned over a matter of principle’; ‘struggling to be true to their own principles’;

Principlenoun

morally correct behaviour and attitudes

‘a man of principle’;

Principlenoun

a general scientific theorem or law that has numerous special applications across a wide field.

Principlenoun

a natural law forming the basis for the construction or working of a machine

‘these machines all operate on the same general principle’;

Principlenoun

a fundamental source or basis of something

‘the first principle of all things was water’;

Principlenoun

a fundamental quality determining the nature of something

‘the combination of male and female principles’;

Principlenoun

an active or characteristic constituent of a substance, obtained by simple analysis or separation

‘the active principle of Spanish fly’;

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.

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