on principle


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on 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.
See also: on, principle
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

on ˈprinciple

because 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.
See also: on, principle
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

on principle

According to or because of principle.
See also: on, principle
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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