Synonyms of principal in English:


See US English definition of principal

See UK English definition of principal

See Spanish definition of principal


1‘vehicle emissions are the principal cause of bad air’

main, chief, primary, leading, foremost, first, most important, predominant, dominant, prominent, most prominent
key, crucial, vital, essential, basic, staple, critical, pivotal, salient, prime, central, focal
premier, paramount, major, ruling, master, supreme, overriding, cardinal, capital, pre-eminent, ultimate, uppermost, highest, utmost, top, topmost, arch-
informal number-one

minor, subordinate, subsidiary


1‘the principal of the firm of contractors’

boss, chief, chief executive, chief executive officer, CEO, chairman, chairwoman, managing director, MD, president, director, manager, employer, head, leader, ruler, controller
informal head honcho
British informal gaffer, governor, guv'nor

2‘the school's principal’

head teacher, head, headmaster, headmistress, director
dean, rector, warden, chancellor, vice chancellor, president, provost, governor
North American informal prexy, prex

3‘she is currently a principal in a soap opera’

leading actor, leading actress, leading performer, leading player, leading lady, leading man, lead, star
protagonist, hero, heroine, leading role, title role
prima donna, diva, prima ballerina

4‘no repayment of the loan's principal is required for the first few years’

capital sum, capital, capital funds, working capital, financial resources
money, debt, loan