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  1. In agency law, an individual or other legal person represented by an agent.
  2. In law, a legal person acting on their own behalf.
  3. The amount of an investment or a loan, excluding any interest. When the whole of a loan is drawn down at the start, the principal is simply the amount originally borrowed.
  4. The reference amount of a traded financial instrument, used to determine its future cashflows.
  5. Most important, or largest.

The concepts of 'principal' above, should not be confused with principle, which is different.

See also