the straight and narrow


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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

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

straight and narrow, the

The honest and upright way of living, as in He led a wild life when he was young, but he's been on the straight and narrow for some years . This expression is widely though to come from confusion of straight, "not crooked," with strait, "narrow," owing to a misinterpretation of a passage from the New Testament: "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life" (Matthew 7:14). The current phrase dates only from the first half of the 1800s.
See also: and, straight

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: 'Wonky' the Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy is on the straight and narrow after having intensive physio to straighten her deformed legs.
Each couple is different, and each has a different reason for the conflicts they are experiencing, but the result is the same - the search for the straight and narrow.
All three couples are experiencing dilemmas in their relationships that center on the conflict between walking the straight and narrow and finding a desired level of excitement and spontaneity.
Some pastors get the calling early and lead the straight and narrow life.
The Anglican church has clearly been blinded by Satan and stepped off the straight and narrow path.
Instead of opening all doors and possibilities, IT instead should focus product-development personnel on the straight and narrow course.
Consider yourself lucky if even three or four of your last 10 crushes have been fellow travelers--and don't fret too much about your eyes' occasional detour into the straight and narrow.
Now he's a none-too-talented auto mechanic with a mountain of debt and a bar-owning girlfriend (former pop novelty Cyndi Lauper, who's OK except she always needs to do something with her hands) who wants to lend him money and keep him on the straight and narrow.
The chapter on chivalry is long gone - and try to remember the last time you saw a Boy Scout help a little old lady across the street - but the organization that's guided generations of boys down the straight and narrow is doing just fine these days.
Sadly, say troop leaders, including the dark side of life in the new handbooks is necessary if today's Scouts are to learn how to deal with those people and situations trying to push them off the straight and narrow path their predecessors traveled.