principle


principle
[[t]prɪ̱nsɪp(ə)l[/t]]
♦♦
principles
1) N-VAR: usu poss N, adj N, prep N A principle is a general belief that you have about the way you should behave, which influences your behaviour.

Buck never allowed himself to be bullied into doing anything that went against his principles.

...moral principles...

It's not just a matter of principle.

...a man of principle.

2) N-COUNT: usu N of n, adj N The principles of a particular theory or philosophy are its basic rules or laws.

...a violation of the basic principles of Marxism...

The doctrine was based on three fundamental principles.

3) N-COUNT: usu adj N, N of n Scientific principles are general scientific laws which explain how something happens or works.

These people lack all understanding of scientific principles.

...the principles of quantum theory.

4) PHRASE: usu PHR after v If you agree with something in principle, you agree in general terms to the idea of it, although you do yet know the details or know if it will be possible.

I agree with it in principle but I doubt if it will happen in practice.

5) PHRASE If something is possible in principle, there is no known reason why it should not happen, even though it has not happened before.

Even assuming this to be in principle possible, it will not be achieved soon.

Syn:
in theory
6) PHRASE: usu with brd-neg, PHR after v If you refuse to do something on principle, you refuse to do it because of a particular belief that you have.

He would vote against it on principle...

His father, on principle, did not like to hear requests for money.


English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • principle — noun 1 basic general rule ADJECTIVE ▪ basic, broad, central, fundamental, general, underlying ▪ the basic principles of car maintenance ▪ b …   Collocations dictionary