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

for starters

used to say that something is the first in a list of things

Word of the Day

Countability – grammar codes

by Dom Glennon​​,
November 26, 2014
Advices and informations Have you ever noticed strange codes in square brackets on entries in Cambridge Dictionaries Online and wondered what they mean? These are grammar codes, giving you a brief summary of how that word behaves grammatically. More information can be obtained by hovering your cursor over the code, and there’s

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More