Definition of keep one's nose clean in English:

keep one's nose clean


  • Stay out of trouble.

    • ‘he tried to keep his nose clean with socially useful work’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But if you kept your nose clean and got on with your life, they left you alone.’
    • ‘Sienna is a real threat because she's younger - and has kept her nose clean.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He can continue to practice law but must keep his nose clean.’
    • ‘To get there, though, he must keep his nose clean.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A judge promised to clean the slate after the Virginia Beach incident - provided he kept his nose clean for a year, which he did.’