on principle

(redirected from on general 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 ?
Just the same, you're wrong on general principle," Grimshaw would oar in.
After that, as a matter of course and on general principles, she would have it out with Lumai, whose soft voice always was for quiet and repose, and who always, at the end of a tongue-lashing, took himself off to the canoe house for a couple of days.
But on general principles it is my opinion that a colt out of a coyote and a wild-cat is no square dog, but doubtful.
Miss Mills replied, on general principles, that the Cottage of content was better than the Palace of cold splendour, and that where love was, all was.
But while he was heartily enough requesting forgiveness on general principles, the rational side of him distinguished, and wondered if, perhaps, the apology were not due upon the other part.
He was fightin' mad on general principles, and it was just my luck to get in the way, that was all.