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straight arrow

An honest, ethical person who makes good decisions. Kristen was often mocked by her peers for being a straight arrow who always followed the rules and stayed out of trouble.
See also: arrow, straight

slings and arrows

Criticisms or judgments. Now that you're the boss, get ready to face slings and arrows from everyone who is unhappy with your company.
See also: and, arrow, sling

*straight as an arrow

 
1. Cliché [of something] very straight. (*Also: as ~.) The road to my house is as straight as an arrow, so it should be very easy to follow.
2. . Cliché [of someone] honest or forthright. (Straight here means honest. *Also: as ~.) Tom is straight as an arrow. I'd trust him with anything.
See also: arrow, straight

*swift as an arrow

 and *swift as the wind; *swift as thought
very fast. (*Also: as ~.) The new intercity train is swift as an arrow. You won't have to wait for me long; I'll be there, swift as thought.
See also: arrow, swift

straight as an arrow

Honest, genuine, as in You can trust Pat with the money; he's straight as an arrow. This simile alludes to the arrow's undeviating flight through the air. [Second half of 1900s]
See also: arrow, straight

a straight arrow

mainly AMERICAN
If you describe someone as a straight arrow, you mean that they are very conventional, honest, and moral. I was very much a product of my environment. I was very traditional, a real straight arrow in lots of ways. Several friends describe Mr. Menendez as `a straight arrow' who rarely drank and was close to his family. Note: You can use straight-arrow before a noun. It was impossible to imagine such a well-scrubbed, straight-arrow group of young people rioting over anything.
See also: arrow, straight

slings and arrows

mainly BRITISH, LITERARY
Slings and arrows are bad things that happen to you and that are not your fault. She seemed generally unable to cope with the slings and arrows of life. He endured the usual slings and arrows of a life lived in the media spotlight. Note: This expression comes from the line the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, in Shakespeare's play `Hamlet'. People sometimes use this line in full. Ah well, we all have to bear the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Note: This is a quotation from a speech in Shakespeare's play `Hamlet', where Hamlet is considering whether or not to kill himself: `To be, or not to be - that is the question; Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?' (Act 3, Scene 1)
See also: and, arrow, sling

straight as an arrow

1. If someone is as straight as an arrow, they are completely honest. Hardworking, straight as an arrow, he had been proud of never taking a bribe.
2. If something is as straight as an arrow, it is completely straight. We drove up a mile-long avenue, straight as an arrow and lined with beech trees.
See also: arrow, straight

an arrow in the quiver

one of a number of resources or strategies that can be drawn on or followed.
See also: arrow, quiver

arrow of time (or time's arrow)

the direction of travel from past to future in time considered as a physical dimension.
See also: arrow, of, time

a straight arrow

an honest or genuine person. North American
See also: arrow, straight

slings and arrows

adverse factors or circumstances.
This expression is taken from the ‘to be or not to be’ speech in Hamlet: ‘Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them’.
2001 Ian J. Deary Intelligence The genetic lottery and the environmental slings and arrows influence the level of some of our mental capabilities.
See also: and, arrow, sling

the ˌslings and ˈarrows (of something)

the problems and difficulties (of something): As a politician you have to deal with the slings and arrows of criticism from the newspapers.This comes from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet: ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’.
See also: and, arrow, sling

(as) straight as an ˈarrow

in a straight line or direction: You can’t get lost if you follow this track. It runs as straight as an arrow through the middle of the forest.
See also: arrow, straight

straight arrow

n. an honest person; a law-abiding citizen. (see also straight shooter.) Willy is really a straight arrow at heart—as long as he’s not around Max. Max is not a straight arrow. Slime is more like it.
See also: arrow, straight

slings and arrows

Difficulties or hardships.
See also: and, arrow, sling

straight arrow

A conventional and ethical person. As morally straight as an arrow, that person is likely to be dull. As used in colleges during the mid- 20th century, a straight arrow wasn't the type who'd get drunk or use drugs. If female, her necking, petting, or going further was out of the question.
See also: arrow, straight
References in classic literature ?
However, in my opinion, it was extremely prudent, as well as generous: for, supposing these people had endeavoured to kill me with their spears and arrows, while I was asleep, I should certainly have awaked with the first sense of smart, which might so far have roused my rage and strength, as to have enabled me to break the strings wherewith I was tied; after which, as they were not able to make resistance, so they could expect no mercy.
One morning as I watched the coming of the elephants I was surprised to see that, instead of passing the tree I was in, as they usually did, they paused, and completely surrounded it, trumpeting horribly, and shaking the very ground with their heavy tread, and when I saw that their eyes were fixed upon me I was terrified, and my arrows dropped from my trembling hand.
if you win the golden arrow you shall be chief of outlaws in Sherwood Forest
Queen Penelope," answered Eurymachus, "we do not suppose that this man will take you away with him; it is impossible; but we are afraid lest some of the baser sort, men or women among the Achaeans, should go gossiping about and say, 'These suitors are a feeble folk; they are paying court to the wife of a brave man whose bow not one of them was able to string, and yet a beggarly tramp who came to the house strung it at once and sent an arrow through the iron.
When King Agamemnon saw the blood flowing from the wound he was afraid, and so was brave Menelaus himself till he saw that the barbs of the arrow and the thread that bound the arrow-head to the shaft were still outside the wound.
He knew that alone the tiny prick of the arrow could not so quickly dispatch these wild things of the jungle, who were often torn and scratched and gored in a frightful manner as they fought with their jungle neighbors, yet as often recovered as not.
Then he chose the stoutest bow among them all, next to Robin's own, and a straight gray goose shaft, well-feathered and smooth, and stepping to the mark--while all the band, sitting or lying upon the greensward, watched to see him shoot--he drew the arrow to his cheek and loosed the shaft right deftly, sending it so straight down the path that it clove the mark in the very center.
All Lothar bristled with the bows and arrows of our ethereal host.
My shaft was drawn back its full length--my eye had centered its sharp point upon the left breast of my adversary; and then he launched his hatchet and I released my arrow.
Fewer and fewer were the arrows that replied to the guns of the raiders, and at last Achmet Zek felt safe in ordering an assault.
As they stood debating with many angry shouts and much gesticulating, one of the Arabs sank silently to the ground in their very midst--a thin arrow protruding from his heart.
Sometimes he was compelled to leave the trail and creep and climb through the jungle so as to approach the man-traps from behind; and on one occasion, in spite of his precaution, a spring-bow was discharged, the flying arrow barely clipping the shoulder of one of the waiting Poonga-Poonga boys.
I saw the arrow leap up, miss Lop-Ear, glance against a limb, and fall back to the ground.
He shot only by direction of sound; and whenever a noise or rustle was heard in the jungle, and when Jerry had informed him of its nature, he would shoot an arrow at it.
Looking down upon the Arrow with which it had been pierced, it found that the shaft of the Arrow had been feathered with one of its own plumes.