on principle

on prin·ci·ple
O o


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [on, awn prin-suh-puh l]
    • /ɒn, ɔn ˈprɪn sə pəl/
    • /ɒn ˈprɪnsəpl/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [on, awn prin-suh-puh l]
    • /ɒn, ɔn ˈprɪn sə pəl/

Definitions of on principle words

  • noun on principle an accepted or professed rule of action or conduct: a person of good moral principles. 1
  • noun on principle a fundamental, primary, or general law or truth from which others are derived: the principles of modern physics. 1
  • noun on principle a fundamental doctrine or tenet; a distinctive ruling opinion: the principles of the Stoics. 1
  • noun on principle principles, a personal or specific basis of conduct or management: to adhere to one's principles; a kindergarten run on modern principles. 1
  • noun on principle guiding sense of the requirements and obligations of right conduct: a person of principle. 1
  • noun on principle an adopted rule or method for application in action: a working principle for general use. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of on principle

First appearance:

before 1350
One of the 20% oldest English words
1350-1400; Middle English, alteration of Middle French principe or Latin prīncipium, on the analogy of manciple. See principium

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for On principle


on principle popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 95% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

on principle usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

See also

Matching words

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