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See also: princípium



From prīnceps (first, foremost) +‎ -ium (suffix forming abstract nouns).



prīncipium n (genitive prīncipiī); second declension

  1. a beginning, an origin
    In principio erat Verbum et Verbum erat apud Deum et Deus erat Verbum.
    In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and God was the Word.
  2. a groundwork, a foundation
  3. (in the plural) the elements, the first principles
  4. (military, in the plural) the front ranks, camp headquarters


Second declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative prīncipium prīncipia
genitive prīncipiī prīncipiōrum
dative prīncipiō prīncipiīs
accusative prīncipium prīncipia
ablative prīncipiō prīncipiīs
vocative prīncipium prīncipia

See also[edit]



  • principium in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • principium in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • principium in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
  • principium in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • the elements: elementa; initia or principia rerum
    • to start from false premises: a falsis principiis proficisci