keep honest

keep (one) honest

1. To ensure that one continues to tell the truth. The company uses tracking software on their employees' computers to keep them honest when they report their hours. Tom kept trying to embellish the details of the story, but his girlfriend kept him honest.
2. To cause one to behave in a virtuous or appropriate manner. This legislation will help keep companies honest when it comes to how they handle their employees' pensions. I led a pretty rough-and-tumble life in the heyday of my youth, but my husband and three children keep me honest now.
See also: honest, keep
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

keep someone honest

to manage to make someone behave honestly and fairly and tell the truth. I love to tell about our vacations, and my wife is usually with me to keep me honest.
See also: honest, keep
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The temptations are so great that it is impossible to keep honest. There were some who were saints.
"And we keep an independent inspection agency in Turkey to keep honest people honest."
Various measures can be used to deter negligent activity and 'keep honest people honest'.
"We wanted to keep honest, industrial materials and give the place its own eclectic look," said Everett Katigbak, the Facebook designer overseeing the facility, as he showed off the first of 10 structures to be occupied at the one million-square-foot (93,000-square-metre) complex.
In between, two versions of the awe-inspiring, mid-engined Clio Renaultsport V6 continued to keep honest a whole host of exotic sports saloons and supercars costing up to five times the price.
While simple, conventional locks should be the first line of defense in preventing access to restricted areas, consider this adage: "Locks are to keep honest people honest." More often than not, locks do their job and keep individuals out of restricted areas.
The charge stated his "wilful neglect" of his duties was "without reasonable excuse or justification" and "included failing to keep honest records" of welfare checks on those in the cells and "failing to make such visits as required".
Finally, the broadcast flag, like other roadblocks designed to "keep honest people honest" is both over- and under-inclusive.
``They're a tough team with plenty of good characters and I'm sure they'll hit us hard in Durban and we've got to make sure we're up for that challenge and keep honest with ourselves.
The fact that Bolton do so often collapse eventually will encourage David O'Leary's side to keep honest even if an early breakthrough doesn't come.
Basically, Paul Sarbanes' bill (Republican Michael Oxley clambered aboard only after its passage was inevitable) requires that corporations keep honest books and hold corporate boards accountable for certifying their accuracy.
Our message to management is to implement controls that will 'keep honest people honest.'"
Simply put, proper controls keep honest people honest.