- according to personal rules for right conduct; as a matter of moral principle: He refused on principle to agree to the terms of the treaty.
- according to a fixed rule, method, or practice: He drank hot milk every night on principle.
Origin of principle
Synonyms for principle
Examples from the Web for principles
Contemporary Examples of principles
But Cosby Truthers are applying their principles to the wrong cause.Phylicia Rashad and the Cult of Cosby Truthers
January 8, 2015
The legal jungle must be bulldozed, and replaced by radically simpler framework of goals and principles.Red Tape Is Strangling Good Samaritans
Philip K. Howard
December 27, 2014
Or bold stands that may not preserve our security today or tomorrow, but keep our principles safely intact?Should the U.S. Really Pay a Kim’s Ransom?
December 21, 2014
Her new memoir looks back at her life lived by the principles of punk.A First Lady of Punk Rock Talks
December 9, 2014
Instead, Booker is trying to do a better job of living out the principles he already has.Talking Tofurky With Newly Vegan Cory Booker
November 26, 2014
Historical Examples of principles
Yet he conducted these two vocations on principles diametrically opposite.
On which of his two sets of principles he would manage a wife remained to be proved.
They are not the principles of a province or of a single continent.
We have known and boasted all along that they were the principles of a liberated mankind.
They are too deeply rooted in the principles of our national life to be altered.
Word Origin for principle
late 14c., "origin, source, beginning; rule of conduct; axiom, basic assumption; elemental aspect of a craft or discipline," from Anglo-French principle, Old French principe "origin, cause, principle," from Latin principium (plural principia) "a beginning, commencement, origin, first part," in plural "foundation, elements," from princeps (see prince). Used absolutely for (good or moral) principle from 1650s.
It is often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them. [Adlai Stevenson, speech, New York City, Aug. 27, 1952]
Scientific sense of "general law of nature" is recorded from 1802. The English -l- apparently is by analogy of participle, etc.
see in principle; on principle.