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Related to principle: principal
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against (one's) principles

In opposition or contrary to one's values or beliefs, such as those of religion, ethics, or ideology. I'm afraid it goes against my principles to vote for a measure that would limit funding for public schools. He told me it's against his principles to drink alcohol.
See also: principle

agreement in principle

An agreement in which the general terms and/or conditions of a deal are accepted without the complete details having been specified or necessarily agreed upon. There was an agreement in principle that the government would cover the cost of building a new school, but so far we haven't seen a clear proposal on how this would be accomplished.
See also: agreement, principle

agree in principle

To accept the general terms and/or conditions of a deal without having completed or agreed upon the specific details. The government has agreed in principle that it will cover the cost of building a new school, but so far we haven't seen a clear proposal on how this would be accomplished.
See also: agree, principle

compromise (with) (one's) principles

To forsake, ignore, or otherwise go against one's fundamental beliefs or virtues. I never thought he would compromise his principles just to get ahead in business like that. Jane felt really guilty about compromising with her principles when she didn't turn her friends into the police after she saw them stealing.

in principle

as a general idea, theory, or belief Members of both parties agreed in principle that some federal dollars should be used to improve election systems.
Usage notes: said about something done without considering details or special situations
Related vocabulary: in theory
See also: 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: principle

in principle

Fundamentally, in general, but not necessarily in all particulars. For example, The diplomats accepted the idea in principle but would rely on experts to work out all the details . [Early 1800s]
See also: 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: principle

in principle

With regard to the basics: an idea that is acceptable in principle.
See also: principle

on principle

According to or because of principle.
See also: principle
References in classic literature ?
Its incurable disease was an apostasy from the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
They soon perceived that the indispensably needed powers were such as no State government, no combination of them, was by the principles of the Declaration of Independence competent to bestow.
From the disorders that disfigure the annals of those republics the advocates of despotism have drawn arguments, not only against the forms of republican government, but against the very principles of civil liberty.
Were an answer to this question to be sought, not by recurring to principles, but in the application of the term by political writers, to the constitution of different States, no satisfactory one would ever be found.
If we resort for a criterion to the different principles on which different forms of government are established, we may define a republic to be, or at least may bestow that name on, a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behavior.
It may be objected that the principle of selection has been reduced to methodical practice for scarcely more than three-quarters of a century; it has certainly been more attended to of late years, and many treatises have been published on the subject; and the result, I may add, has been, in a corresponding degree, rapid and important.
As soon as the points of value of the new sub-breed are once fully acknowledged, the principle, as I have called it, of unconscious selection will always tend,--perhaps more at one period than at another, as the breed rises or falls in fashion,--perhaps more in one district than in another, according to the state of civilisation of the inhabitants--slowly to add to the characteristic features of the breed, whatever they may be.
And if you suppose something which pulls a thirsty soul away from drink, that must be different from the thirsty principle which draws him like a beast to drink; for, as we were saying, the same thing cannot at the same time with the same part of itself act in contrary ways about the same.
And so of the individual; we may assume that he has the same three principles in his own soul which are found in the State; and he may be rightly described in the same terms, because he is affected in the same manner?
This principle, therefore, prevented him from any thought of making his fortune by such means (for this, as I have said, is an active principle, and doth not content itself with knowledge or belief only).
And this affection he had fixed on the girl long before he could bring himself to attempt the possession of her person: for though his constitution urged him greatly to this, his principles no less forcibly restrained him.
It seemed to her that such principles could only be a hindrance in farm management.
and you takes yours on the same ground; wich puts me in mind o' the man as killed his-self on principle, wich o' course you've heerd on, Sir.
He had his hair cut on principle vunce a fortnight, and contracted for his clothes on the economic principle--three suits a year, and send back the old uns.
Glegg's principles, it made the family breach much more difficult to mend; and as to the effect it produced on Mrs.