mend your ways

mend (one's) ways

To start behaving in a different, usually preferable, way. After I got in yet another fight at school, the headmaster told me that I had to mend my ways or else I'd be expelled. No matter how old you are, there is still time to mend your ways.
See also: mend, way
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

mend your ways

COMMON If someone mends their ways, they stop behaving badly or illegally and improve their behaviour. He seemed to accept his sentence meekly, promising to work hard in prison and to mend his ways. When asked if he intended to mend his ways, he told us `I'll try my best.'
See also: mend, way
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

mend your ˈways

(British English) improve your behaviour, way of living, etc: If Richard doesn’t mend his ways, they’ll throw him out of college.
See also: mend, way
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
So, when you mend your legs, you mend your ways. Ho, ho, ho!
"You will mend your ways if you have any sense left," said Agatha remorselessly.
This will be possible only when you mend your ways," he said.
"Do not wait for that to happen, mend your ways for your and your family's good," Duterte said.
MEND YOUR WAYS: Colin Boxshall and Elaine Wright of Safer Estates visiting homes of nuisance neighbours with police
If you find it difficult to mend your ways, consider counselling..
Dead mothers' sons, it's a crime beyond the human soul, Cold persons with a colder knife, care not to foul, The behaviour is beyond all decency, so mend your ways, Your family's sadness if imprisoned you become, save your days.
Sentencing Leask to three years' probation and 240 hours community service he said: "You are being given a last chance to mend your ways.
A14-year-old boy with a massive 46 previous convictions has been warned in court - mend your ways or spend your life in jail.