One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The five principles of peaceful relations between India and China, stated in a treaty signed by both countries in 1954. Also (in later and extended use): such principles as underlying Indian foreign policy generally, or peaceful coexistence between other countries.
1950s; earliest use found in Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964), prime minister of India. From Sanskrit pañcaśīla five principles (originally of moral conduct in Buddhism: see note) from pañca five + śīla character, disposition, good conduct.
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