Law vs Principle – What’s the difference?

Law vs Principle - What's the difference?
In context|obsolete|lang=en terms the difference between law and principle is that law is (obsolete) a tumulus of stones while principle is (obsolete) a beginning.

As nouns the difference between law and principle is that law is (lb) the body of rules and standards issued by a government, or to be applied by courts and similar authorities or law can be (obsolete) a tumulus of stones while principle is a fundamental assumption.

As an interjection law is (dated) an exclamation of mild surprise; lawks.

As a verb principle is to equip with principles; to establish, or fix, in certain principles; to impress with any tenet or rule of conduct.



(wikipedia law)

Etymology 1

From (etyl) lawe, and gesetnes. More at (l).


  • (lb) The body of rules and standards issued by a government, or to be applied by courts and similar authorities.
  • :
  • *, chapter=22
  • , title= The Mirror and the Lamp
    , passage=Not unnaturally, “Auntie” took this communication in bad part.

  • A particular such rule.
  • :
  • *
  • *:As a political system democracy seems to me extraordinarily foolish,I do not suppose that it matters much in reality whether laws are made by dukes or cornerboys, but I like, as far as possible, to associate with gentlemen in private life.
  • (lb) A written or understood rule that concerns behaviours and their consequences. Laws are usually associated with mores.
  • :
  • A well-established, observed physical characteristic or behavior of nature. The word is used to simply identify “what happens,” without implying any explanatory mechanism or causation. Compare to theory.
  • :
  • (lb) A statement that is true under specified conditions.
  • A category of English “common law” petitions that request monetary relief, as opposed to relief in forms other than a monetary judgment; compare to “equity”.
  • (lb) One of the official rules of cricket as codified by the MCC.
  • The police.
  • :
  • (lb) One of the two metaphysical forces of the world in some fantasy settings, as opposed to chaos.
  • An oath, as in the presence of a court. See wager of law.
  • Hyponyms

    * sharia law

    Derived terms

    * above the law
    * against the law
    * a law unto oneself
    * Avogadro’s law
    * Beer-Lambert law
    * Boyle’s law
    * bylaw
    * canon law
    * Charles’ law
    * civil law
    * common law
    * contract law
    * corn laws
    * Coulomb’s law
    * criminal law
    * de Morgan’s laws
    * employment law
    * family law
    * Faraday’s laws
    * federal law
    * feudal law
    * Fourier’s law
    * Gauss’s law
    * Graham’s law
    * Gresham’s law
    * Henry’s law
    * Hooke’s law
    * Hubble’s law
    * international law
    * into law
    * Kepler’s laws of planetary motion
    * Kerchoff’s laws
    * law and order
    * lawful
    * lawgiver
    * lawlike
    * law lord
    * lawmaker, law-maker
    * law of cosines
    * law of large numbers
    * law of sines
    * law of small numbers
    * law of tangents
    * law of the land
    * law of the tongue
    * lay down the law
    * long arm of the law
    * lynch law
    * martial law
    * Moore’s law
    * Murphy’s law
    * natural law
    * Newton’s law of cooling
    * Newton’s law of gravitation
    * Newton’s laws of motion
    * Ohm’s law
    * physical law
    * power law
    * Poiseuille’s law
    * possession is nine points of the law
    * property law
    * Roman law
    * statuate (statute)+law=statuate law (US)
    * state law
    * statute law (Commonwealth English)
    * Stefan-Boltzmann law
    * Stokes’ law
    * sus law
    * take the law into one’s own hands
    * the law is an ass
    * three laws of robotics
    * unwritten law
    * Zipf’s law

    See also


    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) . Also spelled low.


    (en noun)

  • (obsolete) a tumulus of stones
  • a hill
  • * 1892 , Robert Louis Stevenson, Across the Plains
  • You might climb the Law […] and behold the face of many counties.

    Etymology 3

    Compare (la).


    (en interjection)

  • (dated) An exclamation of mild surprise; lawks.
  • References

    Etymology] in [[:w:da:ODS, ODS]








    (en noun)

  • A fundamental assumption.
  • * {{quote-web, date=2011-07-20, author=Edwin Mares, site=The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, title= Propositional Functions
  • , accessdate = 2012-07-15}}

    Let us consider ‘my dog is asleep on the floor’ again. Frege thinks that this sentence can be analyzed in various different ways. Instead of treating it as expressing the application of __ is asleep on the floor” to ”my dog”, we can think of it as expressing the application of the concept
         ”my dog is asleep on __”
    to the object
         ”the floor”
    (see Frege 1919). Frege recognizes what is now a commonplace in the logical analysis of natural language. ”We can attribute more than one logical form to a single sentence
    . Let us call this the principle of multiple analyses . Frege does not claim that the principle always holds, but as we shall see, modern type theory does claim this.
  • A rule used to choose among solutions to a problem.
  • (usually, in the plural) Moral rule or aspect.
  • (physics) A rule or law of nature, or the basic idea on how the laws of nature are applied.
  • * {{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=July-August, author= Sarah Glaz
  • , title= Ode to Prime Numbers
    , volume=101, issue=4, magazine=(American Scientist)
    , passage=Some poems, echoing the purpose of early poetic treatises on scientific principles , attempt to elucidate the mathematical concepts that underlie prime numbers. Others play with primes’ cultural associations. Still others derive their structure from mathematical patterns involving primes.}}

  • A fundamental essence, particularly one producing a given quality.
  • * Gregory
  • Cathartine is the bitter, purgative principle of senna.
  • (obsolete) A beginning.
  • * (Edmund Spenser)
  • Doubting sad end of principle unsound.
  • A source, or origin; that from which anything proceeds; fundamental substance or energy; primordial substance; ultimate element, or cause.
  • * Tillotson
  • The soul of man is an active principle .
  • An original faculty or endowment.
  • * Stewart
  • those active principles whose direct and ultimate object is the communication either of enjoyment or suffering

    Usage notes

    Principle is always a noun (“moral rule”), but it is often confused with (principal), which can be an adjective (“most important”) or a noun (“school principal”). Consult both definitions if in doubt.
    Incorrect usage:
    * He is the principle musician in the band
    * She worked ten years as school principle
    A mnemonic to avoid this confusion is “The principal” alphabetic ”principle” places ”A” before ”E “.


    * (moral rule or aspect) tenet

    Derived terms

    * agreement in principle
    * anthropic principle
    * Aufbau principle
    * Bernoulli’s principle
    * correspondence principle
    * cosmological principle
    * Dilbert principle
    * dormitive principle
    * equivalence principle
    * extractive principle
    * first principles
    * Huygens’ principle
    * IBM Pollyanna Principle
    * Le Chatelier’s principle
    * Mach’s principle
    * matter of principle
    * Matthew principle
    * Mitchell principle
    * on principle
    * Pareto principle
    * Pauli exclusion principle
    * Peter principle
    * pigeonhole principle
    * precautionary principle
    * principle of least action
    * principle of substitutivity
    * principled stance
    * programming principle
    * reciprocity principle
    * strong equivalence principle
    * superposition principle
    * uncertainty principle
    * verifiability principle


  • To equip with principles; to establish, or fix, in certain principles; to impress with any tenet or rule of conduct.
  • * L’Estrange
  • Governors should be well principled .
  • * Locke
  • Let an enthusiast be principled that he or his teacher is inspired.