One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person having a role or office next below that of principal; specifically a vice-principal of a university, school, or other educational institution.
2Music. A stop pitched an octave below the 8-foot or 16-foot principal stop on an organ; the double open diapason.
3Architecture. An auxiliary rafter or principal brace. Compare "principal". Now rare.
That is subordinate or secondary to that which is principal.
Mid 16th century. From sub- + principal<br>early 17th century. From sub- + principal, originally after Middle French souz-principal.
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