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[streyt-n] /ˈstreɪt n/
verb (used with or 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 up
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It would take some time before the babies of Ardea would be able to straighten up on their long, slim legs and go wading.

    Bird Stories Edith M. Patch
  • Meantime you can straighten up this lab and find out where things are.

    Pandemic Jesse Franklin Bone
  • Well, as we came out of the curve, and began to straighten up, I was viewing the area which looked to be a park.

    Warren Commission (2 of 26): Hearings Vol. II (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • As usual, she helped Minnie clear away the dishes and straighten up.

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
  • straighten up, now; this is New York City,' came the confident reply.

    Menotah Ernest G. Henham
  • Then I did stop to straighten up Minervas cap with the ruffles on it.

    The Story of Opal Opal Whiteley
  • Before Packy could straighten up, Tom followed with a sweeping uppercut that caught him squarely on the chin.

  • I could hear Miss Watts straighten up in the chair from which she was watching us.

    May Iverson's Career Elizabeth Jordan
  • He saw one of them step out into the moonlight, lean back and then straighten up suddenly, his arm going above his head.

    Hopalong Cassidy Clarence E. Mulford
British Dictionary definitions for straighten up

straighten up

verb (adverb)
to become or cause to become erect
(mainly US) 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 up



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for straighten up

straighten someone

verb phrase

To get or administer a narcotic for someone (1960s+ Narcotics)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with straighten up

straighten up

Make tidy, as in Let's get this room straightened up. [ Second half of 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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