Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to narrow: narrow down
narrow at the equator
Very hungry. The phrase alludes to the idea of having a slimmer midsection due to not eating. I'm so narrow at the equator—can we please get some food now?
See also: narrow
A situation in which danger or problems are barely avoided. That guy barely made it over the tracks before the train came. What a narrow escape!
the straight and narrow
A morally upright way of life. I need to stay on the straight and narrow so I don't get arrested again.
stay on the straight and narrow
To maintain a morally upright way of life; to only make choices that are considered morally and legally correct. Now that I have a conviction on my record, I really have to stay on the straight and narrow going forward. My father stayed on the straight and narrow until the day he died, and I think he regretted never doing anything wild or unexpected when he had the chance.
keep on the straight and narrow
To maintain a morally upright way of life; to only make choices that are considered morally and legally correct. Now that I have a conviction on my record, I really have to keep on the straight and narrow going forward. My father kept on the straight and narrow until the day he died, and I think he regretted never doing anything wild or unexpected when he had the chance.
1. A victory or success that very nearly ended in failure. After his narrow squeak at the polls, the prime minister must find a way to instill confidence in the country at large once again. After a narrow squeak, they have managed to hold onto their league championship.
2. A situation in which danger or problems are barely avoided. We had just cleaned and tidied the fridge before the health inspector arrived. What a narrow squeak! The expedition had a very narrow squeak when an avalanche tore through the path from which they had just come.
To pare the number of people or things on a list down to a more manageable or select number. A noun or pronoun can be used between "narrow" and "down." We've narrowed down our list of candidates to just three, but it's going to be nigh impossible to choose from them. Let's narrow it down to just our very top choices, otherwise we'll never pick a place to go.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
the straight and narrow
COMMON If someone or something keeps you on the straight and narrow, they help you to live a good, honest life and prevent you from doing immoral or illegal things. He now had his faith to keep him on the straight and narrow. Note: You can also say that someone strays from the straight and narrow, meaning that they stop living a good, honest life and do something immoral or illegal. The goal is to prevent them from straying from the straight and narrow. Note: `Straight' was originally `strait', which meant `narrow'. The expression probably refers to a passage in the Bible: `Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.'(Matthew 7:14)
the straight and narrowmorally correct behaviour.
The full form of the expression is the straight and narrow path or way . It developed from a misunderstanding of Matthew 7:14, ‘strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life’, where strait is in fact being used as another word for narrow .
a narrow eˈscape/ˈsqueaka situation where somebody only just avoids injury, danger or failure: We had a narrow escape on the way here. The wind blew a tree down just in front of us. We could have been killed.
keep to, stay on, etc. the ˌstraight and ˈnarrow(informal) live your life according to strict moral principles: She’s stopped drinking and now she’s trying to stay on the straight and narrow.This phrase comes from the Bible, describing the path to Heaven.
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.