on principle


1

On moral or ethical grounds. As James Russell Lowell wrote about Alexander Pope in 1871, “There was a time when I could not read Pope, but disliked him on principle.” [First half of 1800s]

2

According to a fixed rule or practice. For example, The police were locking up the demonstrators on principle. [First half of 1800s]

3

on general principle. For no special reason, in general, as in Dean won't touch broccoli on general principle. [First half of 1800s]

QUIZZES

BECOME A PRO CHEF WITH THIS EXQUISITE CUISINE QUIZ!

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Question 1 of 9
You may have read the word "simmer" in a recipe or two, but what does it really mean?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.