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This word has several meanings. It is used in opposition to accessary, to show the degree of crime committed by two persons; thus, we say, the principal is more guilty than the accessary after the fact.

2. In estates, principal is used as opposed to incident or accessory; as in the following rule: "the incident shall pass by the grant of the principal, but not the principal by the grant of the incident. Accessorium non ducit, sed sequitur suum principale." Co. Litt. 152, a.

3. It is used in opposition to agent, and in this sense it signifies that the principal is the prime mover.

4. It is used in opposition to interest; as, the principal being secured tho interest will follow.

5. It is lased also in opposition to surety; thus, we say the principal is answerable before the surety.

6. Principal is used also to denote the more important; as, the principal person.

7. In the English law, the chief person in some of the inns of chancery is called principal of the house. Principal is also used to designate the best of many things as, the best bed, the best table, and the like.

Source : Bouvier 1856

Language : English


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