Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “principle”

principle

noun
 
 
/ˈprɪnsəpl/
MORAL RULE [C, U] a rule or belief that influences your behaviour and which is based on what you think is right: He must be punished - it's a matter of principle.Morality and rules of behaviour
BASIC IDEA [C] B2 a basic idea or rule that explains how something happens or works: The organization works on the principle that all members have the same rights.Rules and laws
in principle If you agree with something in principle, you agree with the idea or plan although you do not know the details or you do not know if it will be possible: They have approved the changes in principle.Ideas, concepts and theories
on principle If you refuse to do something on principle, you refuse to do it because you think it is morally wrong: She doesn't wear fur on principle.Morality and rules of behaviour
(Definition of principle from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “principle” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

dawn on sb

If a fact dawns on you, you understand it after a period of not understanding it.

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More