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[streyt-n] /ˈstreɪt n/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to make or become straight in direction, form, position, character, conduct, condition, etc. (often followed by up or out).
Origin of straighten
1535-45; straight + -en1
Related forms
straightener, noun
overstraighten, verb
prestraighten, verb (used with object)
restraighten, verb
unstraightened, adjective
well-straightened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for straighten
  • There was enough to do besides, to straighten up things.
  • The strands straighten out when pulled, but they relax back to their tangled shape when the tension is released.
  • They thought that a low hum might straighten out those bent cochlear hairs.
  • The next step could be to remove road crossings and straighten some of the track.
  • To prevent floods he proposed cut-offs to straighten and speed the river.
  • Wear comfortable garments you won't have to tug at or straighten.
  • From the start, the round's chief ambition was to straighten out some of the kinks in agricultural trade.
  • He'd never listen to my advice as to how to straighten his finances.
  • Lying on your side, straighten your leg and raise it towards the ceiling.
  • He'd taken two days to straighten and harden the steel, six inches in the blade and four in the tang.
British Dictionary definitions for straighten


verb sometimes foll by up or out
to make or become straight
(transitive) to make neat or tidy: straighten your desk
Derived Forms
straightener, noun
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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Word Origin and History for straighten

1540s, from straight + -en (1). Related: Straightened; straightening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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