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keep to the straight and narrow

Fig. to behave properly and correctly; to stay out of trouble. If you keep to the straight and narrow, you can't help but win in the end. I always keep to the straight and narrow.
See also: and, keep, narrow, straight

narrow something down (to people or things)

to reduce a list of possibilities from many to a selected few. We can narrow the choice down to green or red. We narrowed down the choice to you or Paul.
See also: down, narrow

narrow squeak

Fig. a success almost not achieved; a lucky or marginal success; a problem almost not surmounted. That was a narrow squeak. I don't know how I survived. Another narrow squeak like that and I'll give up.
See also: narrow, squeak

the straight and narrow

Fig. a straight and law-abiding route through life. (Referring to a morally rigid and correct course of behavior. Fixed order.) You should have no trouble with the police if you stick to the straight and narrow. Roger was the kind who followed the straight and narrow every day of his life.
See also: and, narrow, straight

the straight and narrow (path)

behavior that is correct and moral You have to keep to the straight and narrow if you want to stay on her good side.
See also: and, narrow, straight

a narrow escape

a situation in which you were lucky because you just managed to avoid danger or trouble He only just got out of the vehicle before the whole thing blew up. It was a narrow escape.
See also: escape, narrow

the straight and narrow

if you keep on the straight and narrow, you behave in a way that is honest and moral The threat of a good beating should keep him on the straight and narrow. Have you ever been tempted to stray from the straight and narrow?
See from the horse's mouth, be as stiff as a ramrod, couldn't lie straight in bed, keep a straight face, play a straight bat
See also: and, narrow, straight

narrow escape

A barely successful flight from or avoidance of danger or trouble, as in He had a narrow escape, since the bullet came within inches of his head. This expression uses narrow in the sense of "barely sufficient." [Late 1500s] For a newer synonym, see close call.
See also: escape, narrow

straight and narrow, the

The honest and upright way of living, as in He led a wild life when he was young, but he's been on the straight and narrow for some years . This expression is widely though to come from confusion of straight, "not crooked," with strait, "narrow," owing to a misinterpretation of a passage from the New Testament: "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life" (Matthew 7:14). The current phrase dates only from the first half of the 1800s.
See also: and, straight

narrow squeak

n. a success almost not achieved; a lucky or marginal success; a problem almost not surmounted. That was a narrow squeak. I don’t know how I survived.
See also: narrow, squeak
References in classic literature ?
I clambered up the narrow cleft in the rock and came out upon the sulphur on the westward side of the village of the Beast Men.
In Switzerland I have done but little, learnt but little, and seen but little; my life there was in a circle; I walked the same round every day; I could not get out of it; had I rested--remained there even till my death, I should never have enlarged it, because I am poor and not skilful, I have not great acquirements; when I was quite tired of this round, I begged my aunt to go to Brussels; my existence is no larger here, because I am no richer or higher; I walk in as narrow a limit, but the scene is changed; it would change again if I went to England.
Up the stone steps from the narrow door by which he had entered, glided the white-clad figure of Lady Arabella, the only colour to be seen on her being blood-marks on her face and hands and throat.
Quickly I mounted it, only to find that it connected at the top with the lower of a series of horizontal wooden bars that spanned the now narrow and shaft-like interior of the tree's stem.
Directly before me the river thundered down from above in a mighty waterfall that filled the narrow gorge from side to side, rising far above me several hundred feet--as magnificent a spectacle as I ever had seen.
From the palace to the gloomy prison is but a step--one might almost jump across the narrow canal that intervenes.
Behind them along the narrow, sodden, cutup forest road came hussars in threes and fours, and then Cossacks: some in felt cloaks, some in French greatcoats, and some with horsecloths over their heads.
Unmolested I reached the top of the canyon where I found a sheer drop of two or three hundred feet to the bottom of a rocky chasm; but on the left a narrow ledge rounded the shoulder of the overhanging cliff.
At the far end I could see that erosion from above had washed down sufficient rubble to form a narrow ribbon of beach.
He saw the Arab's eyes narrow, and he guessed that the other had sensed his antagonism to the plan.
Here, all was almost total darkness until his eyes became accustomed to the interior, the darkness of which was slightly alleviated by the reflected light from a distant street flare which shone intermittently through the narrow windows fronting the thoroughfare.
On, on the swift prahu sped up the winding channel which had now dwindled to a narrow stream, at intervals rushing strongly between rocky walls with a current that tested the strength of the strong, brown paddlers.
We finally found a place where we could slip over the edge of the cliff onto a narrow ledge which seemed to give evidence of being something of a game-path to the valley, though it apparently had not been used for some time.
Here lay a desolate valley--a shallow, narrow valley dotted with stunted trees and covered with many great bowlders.
The young girl, whilst the prisoner was mounting the staircase, appeared at the narrow door of her chamber, which opened on that very flight of steps; and, holding the lamp in her right hand, she at the same time lit up her pretty blooming face, surrounded by a profusion of rich wavy golden locks, whilst with her left she held her white night-dress closely over her breast, having been roused from her first slumber by the unexpected arrival of Van Baerle.