Definition of keep one's nose clean in US English:

keep one's nose clean


  • Stay out of trouble.

    • ‘It is not safe to play around when one is in the public eye, it always comes out, so if you want to climb higher in the political arena you need to keep your nose clean!’
    • ‘A judge promised to clean the slate after the Virginia Beach incident - provided he kept his nose clean for a year, which he did.’
    • ‘Now, you would have thought that right now he would be trying to keep his nose clean, steer clear of anything that could, just possibly, be misinterpreted as deception.’
    • ‘If you are not high enough up the business ladder, you take your wages, keep your nose clean, and you get in trouble if you waste a paper clip.’
    • ‘To get there, though, he must keep his nose clean.’
    • ‘But if you kept your nose clean and got on with your life, they left you alone.’
    • ‘The defendant was given five months to prove he can keep his nose clean after a judge said she wanted to see if he could stay out of trouble.’
    • ‘Deliver the essentials of municipal government, do not embarrass the city, keep your nose clean and we will re-elect you until the cows come home.’
    • ‘He can continue to practice law but must keep his nose clean.’
    • ‘Sienna is a real threat because she's younger - and has kept her nose clean.’