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straight and narrow

the way of virtuous or proper conduct:
After his release from prison, he resolved to follow the straight and narrow.
Origin of straight and narrow
1945-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for straight-and-narrow
Historical Examples
  • So Tutt was compelled to walk the straight-and-narrow path whether he liked it or not.

    Tutt and Mr. Tutt Arthur Train
British Dictionary definitions for straight-and-narrow

straight and narrow

(informal) the proper, honest, and moral path of behaviour
Word Origin
perhaps an alteration of strait and narrow, an allusion to Matthew 7:14: ``strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life''
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for straight-and-narrow



  1. Unmixed; undiluted; neat: He takes his liquor straight (1874+)
  2. Not using narcotics; not addicted; clean (1950s+ Narcotics)
  3. Having had a narcotics dose, esp the first one of the day: Once the addict has had his shot and is ''straight'' he may become industrious (1946+ Narcotics)
  4. Heterosexual; not sexually deviant (1941+ fr homosexuals)
  5. True; honest and direct: from straight-poop tough to moral (1530+)


A tobacco cigarette; square (1960s+ Musicians & students)

Related Terms

go straight

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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