Definition of straighten in English:

straighten

verb

  • 1Make or become straight:

    [with object] ‘she helped him straighten his tie’
    [no object] ‘here the road straightens and its verges widen’
    • ‘She gave a smile, walked over to her son and smoothed out his tie and straightened his jacket.’
    • ‘He straightened his tie and rose from the chair again.’
    • ‘The road straightened and led them between the walls of more very fancy-looking estates.’
    • ‘As I was straightening my skirt Fiona swept into the room looking slightly ragged.’
    • ‘He flattened his hair, straightened his tie, and turned to Jane with a blank face.’
    • ‘As the road straightened the van pulled out and blasted past.’
    • ‘Candy got up uncomfortably from her bus seat, and straightened her ruffled skirt.’
    • ‘So Jake pulled a piece of paper from his pocket, placed it in front of him on the lectern, straightened his tie and coughed nervously.’
    • ‘The pain is still there, and I can't really straighten my back anymore.’
    • ‘Flynn hesitated for a moment before slowly straightening her back and shutting the fridge door.’
    • ‘The mine company straightened the river, which used to run right through the park.’
    • ‘She straightened the collar of his shirt in a very motherly sort of way.’
    • ‘After the road straightens, look for a spacious car park on the left.’
    • ‘Out of habit, Meg straightened the white apron tied over her black dress and patted her hair to be sure her long auburn locks were pulled back neatly in a low ponytail.’
    • ‘He straightened his tie, adjusted the suit coat fractionally, and marched back toward the elevators.’
    • ‘There was a moment of silence before Harvey finally coughed and straightened his tie.’
    • ‘You know, they straightened out the Mississippi River in places, to make room for houses and livable acreage.’
    • ‘Stepping back, she straightened the bow tie and brushed the lint off the lapels of his jacket.’
    • ‘He straightened his tie in the mirror and again afforded himself a smile.’
    • ‘Libby quickly straightened her hair and smoothed out the blanket across her lap.’
    make straight, align
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    1. 1.1[no object] Stand or sit erect after bending:
      ‘he slowly straightened up, using the table for support’
      • ‘She started to bend to gather her cloak, but straightened at the last minute.’
      • ‘I straightened, stretched and yawned, glancing idly about me, a man awakening from a romantic reverie.’
      • ‘They quickly straightened up in their seats and tried to suppress their giggles.’
      • ‘Marcus straightened from his crouching position and crossed the space between them.’
      • ‘He saw a man repeatedly bending down and straightening up over the same spot for several minutes.’
      • ‘He couldn't take a deep breath, couldn't straighten up or move.’
      • ‘Stephen straightened immediately in his chair and looked at his aide directly.’
      • ‘He's so alone, she thought as she straightened and slowly walked over to stand behind him.’
      • ‘He straightens up, leans on the broom handle and waits to see who drops by.’
      • ‘After a few minutes of driving, Renee suddenly straightened up in her seat.’
      • ‘He heard her move, so he straightened up as quickly as he could to greet her.’
      • ‘It was only when he saw my annoyance that he quickly straightened up and cleared his throat.’
      • ‘He turned around and bent down to pick up the lantern, but straightened and turned back around when he heard Kayla gasp.’
      • ‘He straightens up from the foundations of the house he is helping to build.’
      • ‘I am nudging 5ft 10 in, if you can get me to straighten up and stop slouching for a minute.’
      • ‘Nathaniel stopped right in front of Emily, bent down, and kissed her hand lightly before straightening.’
      • ‘She reaches her hand down to scratch her ankle, then straightens up again.’
      • ‘He straightens and stands oddly for a moment, staring blankly at the man crossing the underground parking lot twenty paces away.’
      • ‘He bent to pick up the ball and then slowly straightened, cradling it in his hands while regarding her with a crooked smile.’
      • ‘Even at night it's so good to straighten up and take a short break outside, standing on the porch or under the oak tree, looking up at the stars and breathing the good, cold fresh air.’
      stand up, stand up straight, stand upright, straighten one's back
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    2. 1.2straighten up[no object] (of a vehicle, ship, or aircraft) stop turning and move in a straight line:
      ‘it may be wise to straighten up and fly down wind a little’
      • ‘He had tried to straighten up, but over-steered, which led him to lose control and collide with the tree on the other side of the road.’
      • ‘It is said to have swung left alongside the Goole turn-off, failed to straighten up and ended in the field.’
      • ‘As soon as he straightened up, he cranked the throttle right back and wheelied away up Shortwood!’
      • ‘Aircraft were warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.’
      • ‘If I attempt to straighten up, I'm going find myself running out of a flat surface to do it on.’
  • 2[with object] Make tidy or put in order again:

    ‘he sat down at his desk, straightening his things that Lee had moved’
    ‘they are asking for help in straightening out their lives’
    • ‘Anyway, we are indebted to Pope Gregory XIII for straightening up the calendar.’
    • ‘Bryant smiled and closed up the files and different things he was working on before straightening them on his desk and rising to his feet.’
    • ‘He had joined the company as a high-tech troubleshooter, an expert in straightening out these sorts of kinks.’
    • ‘In the two weeks she's been here she's been straightening out anything around the house that isn't perfect.’
    • ‘It is amusing to see that pedestrians would rather make a long detour to avoid the clutter than straighten up the mess.’
    • ‘The governor has asked you to head up a bipartisan group to look at straightening out California's terrible fiscal situation.’
    • ‘I waited until he had gone around the corner before I sat down in his chair and proceeded to organize his desk a little, straightening out a pile of papers here, wiping away a crumb there.’
    • ‘If your house is always cluttered, resolve to clean or straighten up one room a week, or perhaps resolve never to go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.’
    • ‘At five o'clock I straightened my desk and was about to head out to the elevator.’
    • ‘He told the court that his parents, a social worker and a farm manager, had sat him down and talked to him about straightening up his act.’
    • ‘He found her in her library straightening things on her desk.’
    • ‘While Travis' mother is at work, he straightens up the house and looks after his younger brother.’
    • ‘I pressed my lips together, straightening out my thoughts and choosing my words carefully, trying very hard not to be angry.’
    • ‘The average identity theft victim spends 175 hours straightening out the mess.’
    • ‘This was the beginning to straightening out her life.’
    • ‘One suspects that straightening up the leadership in the schools would have a strong positive influence on the school system.’
    • ‘He relinquished the hope of ever straightening out people like me.’
    • ‘He has to travel to Bangalore at least once, in order to straighten things out and get his money.’
    • ‘And Tony's had no problem recognizing and straightening out the kid's intransigence in previous seasons.’
    • ‘He ran his fingers through his short, chocolate hair before straightening his desk and heading home.’
    put right, set right, sort out, iron out, clear up, settle, resolve, find a solution to, put in order, tidy up, regulate, regularize, rectify, repair, remedy
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Pronunciation

straighten

/ˈstreɪt(ə)n/