straight and narrow

noun

Definition of straight and narrow 

: the way of propriety and rectitude used with the

Examples of straight and narrow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Rules capping fiscal deficits at 3% of GDP and total debt at 60% of GDP were supposed to keep countries on the straight and narrow. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Costs of the Euro," 23 Nov. 2018 Not only is no one predestined to return to a life of crime, but these new strategies are helping keep them on the straight and narrow. WSJ, "Cotton Is Wrong, Sentencing Reform Is Right," 23 Aug. 2018 Also, having a relationship with God is going to keep you straight and narrow [during those hard] times. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Pusha T, Ella Mai, Jussie Smollett & More Give Aspiring Artists Advice on How to Maintain Their Mental Health," 20 June 2018 Who wants to live vicariously through a former addict's daily effort to stay on the straight and narrow? Hank Stuever, chicagotribune.com, "'Patrick Melrose' is the Cumberbatch-iest show ever made - and that's a good thing," 10 May 2018 Can fourth-round pick Antonio Callaway stay on the straight and narrow? cleveland.com, "When will Baker Mayfield win the Browns' starting job? Hey, Mary Kay!," 8 May 2018 His father, Dennis, was a respected UConn gridiron legend who kept sons Aaron and D.J. on the straight and narrow. Don Oldenburg, USA TODAY, "James Patterson brings thriller approach to 'All-American' killer Aaron Hernandez's story," 22 Jan. 2018 Aaron's parents, Dennis and Teri, were determined to keep the boys on the straight and narrow. CBS News, "All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez," 20 Jan. 2018 The superpowers’ balancing of laissez-faire and a tight fist was usually enough to keep major clients such as Turkey and Iran, and even Arab-nationalist dictators, on the straight and narrow path of cooperation with them. David Pryce-jones, National Review, "Is Arab Democracy Possible?," 16 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'straight and narrow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of straight and narrow

1930, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for straight and narrow

probably alteration of strait and narrow; from the admonition of Matthew 7:14 (King James Version), "strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life"

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Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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The first known use of straight and narrow was in 1930

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