Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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.
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.
arrow of time
A phrase used to describe the one-way direction of time as it moves from past to future. It is typically associated with scientific study. The arrow of time may seem like an obvious concept, but it has no real analogue in the physical world.
arrow in the quiver
One of several options or alternatives available. With all this varied job experience under my belt, I have more than one arrow in the quiver if this particular career path isn't to my liking. I've got a job interview next week, but I'm still handing out my résumé so that I'll have another arrow in the quiver.
(as) straight as an arrow
1. Literally, totally straight. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Don't worry, the road is straight as an arrow for the rest of the journey, so I don't think you'll get carsick anymore. We need to make sure this beam is as straight as an arrow before we put it into place.
2. Very truthful, reliable, and morally upright. Kate would never cheat on an exam—she's as straight as an arrow. I know Bob's story sounds ridiculous, but I believe him because he's straight as an arrow.
(as) swift as an arrow
Incredibly swiftly or speedily. The karate expert had the would-be mugger unconscious on the ground as swift as an arrow. Swift as an arrow, Mary finished her exam and raced out of the classroom. The shopped ran through mall swift as arrows in search of great deals.
*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.
*swift as an arrowand *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.
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]
a straight arrowmainly 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.
slings and arrowsmainly 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)
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.
an arrow in the quiverone of a number of resources or strategies that can be drawn on or followed.
arrow of time (or time's arrow)the direction of travel from past to future in time considered as a physical dimension.
a straight arrowan honest or genuine person. North American
slings and arrowsadverse 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.
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’.
(as) straight as an ˈarrowin 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.
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.
slings and arrows
Difficulties or hardships.
straight as an arrow
Without twists, bends, or turns; upright; direct. This simile, which likens the arrow’s path to a straight line, dates from medieval times and appears in English sources from then on. Chaucer (The Miller’s Tale) had another version: “Long as a mast, and upright as a bolt,” a bolt being the short, heavy arrow used with a crossbow. George Eliot, commenting on a person’s youthful appearance, wrote (Felix Holt, 1868), “You are as straight as an arrow still.”
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.