straight arrow


Definition of straight arrow

: a person who lives by rigidly proper or conventional standards

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from straight arrow

straight-arrow \ ˈstrāt-​ˌer-​(ˌ)ō How to pronounce straight arrow (audio) , -​ˌa-​(ˌ)rō \ adjective

Examples of straight arrow in a Sentence

He doesn't drink or smoke. He's a real straight arrow.
Recent Examples on the Web The GIs are led by somewhat inexperienced straight arrow Cpl. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, "Review: The soldiers in ‘Recon’ gab their way through a dangerous mission," 10 Nov. 2020 The prosecuting attorney is Richard Schultz (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a straight arrow who isn’t quite convinced by his target; at his side is Thomas Foran (J. C. MacKenzie). Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Aaron Sorkin Puts America on Trial," 17 Oct. 2020 Tom is an old-school type guy, a straight arrow who eschews using force even in his capacity as one of New York City's finest. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Devil's Own': THR's 1997 Review," 26 Mar. 2020 The goal was to challenge the all-too-intuitive picture of a straight arrow going from cause to effect as far too simplistic to describe the real world. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘The Slippery Math of Causation’," 29 June 2018 Everybody, except for me, everybody is straight arrow. Steve Marinucci, Billboard, "Mike Nesmith Reflects on His Weed-Fueled, Post-Monkees Project First National Band & New Memoir," 31 May 2018 The straight arrow of Franco's brothers, Vincent, is a divorced dad trying to get by, whose financial need puts him in business with some shady characters. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'The Deuce' review: HBO drama on porn's rise deals aces," 7 Sep. 2017 If Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the closest a live-action sitcom has come to The Simpsons, then Diggs is its Frank Grimes, the sputtering straight arrow who was driven into an early grave by Homer’s inexplicable accomplishments. Sam Adams, Slate Magazine, "Season 3 is so dense with jokes that it’s hard to watch too many episodes in one sitting. Also, it’s glorious.," 19 May 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of straight arrow

1969, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for straight arrow

from the expression straight as an arrow

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about straight arrow

Time Traveler for straight arrow

Time Traveler

The first known use of straight arrow was in 1969

See more words from the same year

Statistics for straight arrow

Cite this Entry

“Straight arrow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on straight arrow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for straight arrow

Comments on straight arrow

What made you want to look up straight arrow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!