stay within bounds

stay within bounds

1. To remain polite, civil, or in good taste. I will ask again that both candidates please stay within bounds during the debate. I know edgy jokes are your thing, but this is a family event, so stay within bounds, OK?
2. To remain adherent to some prescribed laws, guidelines, codes, etc. The laws laid out within our holy book exist in order to teach people how to stay within bounds set by the gods. The structures of the autocratic society ensure the common man stays within bounds, while the rich and powerful maintain control.
See also: bound, stay, within