on principle

(redirected from as a matter of principle)

on principle

also as a matter of principle
according to a moral rule or personal belief He opposed the death penalty on principle.
See also: on, principle

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]
See also: on, principle

on principle

According to or because of principle.
See also: on, principle
References in classic literature ?
Unable to accomplish this, he nevertheless, as a matter of principle, continued his habits of social familiarity with the old man, and thus gave him constant opportunities for perfecting the purpose to which -- poor forlorn creature that he was, and more wretched than his victim -- the avenger had devoted himself.
It was the first time she had heard an oath from the lips of a man she knew, and she was shocked, not merely as a matter of principle and training, but shocked in spirit by this rough blast of life in the garden of her sheltered maidenhood.
As a matter of principle they did just enough work in their classes to avoid pun- ishment.
The Analytical, who objects as a matter of principle to everything that occurs on the premises, necessarily objects to the match; but his consent has been dispensed with, and a spring-van is delivering its load of greenhouse plants at the door, in order that to-morrow's feast may be crowned with flowers.
The scheme had already reached the stage in which it was permissible to hire an office and engage a secretary, and he had been deputed to expound the scheme to Mary, and make her an offer of the Secretaryship, to which, as a matter of principle, a small salary was attached.