As narrow is being not wide and not flexible, can it also be upright?

  • What do the dictionaries say? Apr 20, 2015 at 13:57
  • @EdwinAshworth it meantions not wide and not flexible but it is neutral. I know narrow minded can be negative as "not open minded", I'm asking if it can be something like "uncorruptible" synonym.
    – Yohann V.
    Apr 20, 2015 at 14:01
  • 4
    I've never come across a use of "narrow minded" that was positive: your construction would be possible, but so unusual it would need a lot of contextual support (ie, it isn't a natural reading in isolation).
    – Useless
    Apr 20, 2015 at 14:06
  • Yep, it would be unwise to attempt to use "narrow minded" in a positive sense, except perhaps in a jocular way with appropriate context.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 20, 2015 at 18:21

2 Answers 2


The dominant usage of the phrase has negative connotations; you would have great difficulty convincing someone that it was a compliment. If you want "upright", you might be looking to integrate the straight and narrow.

  • 1
    Nice illustration of the idiosyncrasies that make the language so problematic. I mean fun. If fun's been sufficiently adjectived yet. Apr 20, 2015 at 14:20
  • I don't know how to use the straight and the narrow, should it only be with not leaving or keeping to?
    – Yohann V.
    Apr 20, 2015 at 14:35
  • "That guy really knows how to walk the strait and narrow." Note that the phrase properly uses strait (not straight), meaning tight, with no room to maneuver.
    – Paul Rowe
    Apr 20, 2015 at 14:56

Use focused for a positive touch, if that's what you mean.

  • I'm focused, you're rigid, he's narrow-minded. Somebody-I-can't-remember's third-person-singular view of reality. Apr 20, 2015 at 14:23
  • It was one of the good part I was thinking about also. But I wanted to use narrow
    – Yohann V.
    Apr 20, 2015 at 14:47

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