straight and narrow, (walk) the

the straight and narrow

A morally upright way of life. I need to stay on the straight and narrow so I don't get arrested again.
See also: and, narrow, straight

walk the straight and narrow

To maintain a morally upright way of life; to only make choices that are considered morally and legally correct. Now that I have a conviction on my record, I really have to walk the straight and narrow going forward. My father walked the straight and narrow until the day he died, and I think he regretted never doing anything wild or unexpected when he had the chance.
See also: and, narrow, straight, walk
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the straight and narrow

Fig. a straight and law-abiding route through life. (Referring to a morally rigid and correct course of behavior. Fixed order.) You should have no trouble with the police if you stick to the straight and narrow. Roger was the kind who followed the straight and narrow every day of his life.
See also: and, narrow, straight
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

the straight and narrow

COMMON If someone or something keeps you on the straight and narrow, they help you to live a good, honest life and prevent you from doing immoral or illegal things. He now had his faith to keep him on the straight and narrow. Note: You can also say that someone strays from the straight and narrow, meaning that they stop living a good, honest life and do something immoral or illegal. The goal is to prevent them from straying from the straight and narrow. Note: `Straight' was originally `strait', which meant `narrow'. The expression probably refers to a passage in the Bible: `Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.'(Matthew 7:14)
See also: and, narrow, straight
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

the straight and narrow

morally correct behaviour.
The full form of the expression is the straight and narrow path or way . It developed from a misunderstanding of Matthew 7:14, ‘strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life’, where strait is in fact being used as another word for narrow .
See also: and, narrow, straight
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

straight and narrow, (walk) the

(Follow) the path of virtue. This term probably alludes to the biblical caution, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life” (Matthew 7:14), life here meaning salvation. Following the straight and narrow, however, was largely a Victorian concept of rectitude, and the term became current in the nineteenth century. John Dos Passos used it in The 42nd Parallel (1930): “Robbins . . . said that he . . . would have to follow the straight and narrow.”
See also: and, straight
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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