on principle(redirected from on general principle)
Guided by, due to, or according to a certain principle. On principle, I never socialize with my students outside of school. I've never read his work, but because of his political statements I dislike him 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]
on ˈprinciplebecause of your beliefs or ideas about what is right or how people should behave: I quite like meat, but I don’t eat it on principle.
According to or because of principle.