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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 out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “Matters will straighten out as soon as you see your wife,” Penny declared.

    Whispering Walls Mildred A. Wirt
  • You have told so much while no sense was in you that you might now straighten out the tale.

    Nicanor - Teller of Tales C. Bryson Taylor
  • I had to straighten out his form before I was able to decide whether he was living or dead.

    Love Under Fire Randall Parrish
  • Then he sent to Morristown for Mr. Morris to straighten out the fight.

  • An incompetent file clerk can, in a short time, get the files in a demoralized condition almost impossible to straighten out.

  • "I intended to have a talk with you and straighten out some things," he went on.

    The Highgrader William MacLeod Raine
  • Usually they run their affairs in a haphazard manner and their books would defy an expert to straighten out.

  • You were assigned to straighten out that man, Sornal, weren't you?

    Alarm Clock Everett B. Cole
British Dictionary definitions for straighten out

straighten out

verb (adverb)
to make or become less complicated or confused: the situation will straighten out
(US & Canadian) to reform or become reformed


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 out



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with straighten out

straighten out

Clear up disorder, a confusion, or a misunderstanding, as in This is an awful mess; I hope you'll straighten it out, or I don't understand; please straighten me out. [ Late 1800s ]
Adopt an honest, upright course, as in He's only sixteen; I'm sure he'll straighten out before long. [ First half of 1900s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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