- 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
Examples from the Web for principles
But Cosby Truthers are applying their principles to the wrong cause.
The legal jungle must be bulldozed, and replaced by radically simpler framework of goals and principles.
Or bold stands that may not preserve our security today or tomorrow, but keep our principles safely intact?
Her new memoir looks back at her life lived by the principles of punk.
Instead, Booker is trying to do a better job of living out the principles he already has.
As a military man he is said to be well informed, and to understand well the principles of his profession.The Life of Isaac Ingalls Stevens, Volume I (of 2)|Hazard Stevens
It might be a good deal better for you if you had lived up to the principles of temperance yourself.
The Tarthan swordsman, well up on the principles of discretion, felt a sudden urge to be quit of this locality.Quest of the Golden Ape|Ivar Jorgensen
Dalgleish strictly adhered to Presbyterian principles, and on that account was subjected to trouble.Letters of Samuel Rutherford|Samuel Rutherford
These principles, it is true, were originally asserted by a small party only.A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention|Lucius Eugene Chittenden
British Dictionary definitions for principles (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for principles (2 of 2)
Word Origin for principle
Word Origin and History for principles
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.
Medicine definitions for principles
Idioms and Phrases with principles
see in principle; on principle.