Definition of neaten in US English:



[with object]
  • Make neat; arrange in an orderly, tidy way.

    ‘she made an attempt to neaten her hair’
    • ‘She had sewn up the ragged edge where she had torn off her shirt sleeve, and neatened the piece of cloth into a proper head scarf.’
    • ‘She stood up, too hastily, all of a sudden interested in neatening the bed she had left unmade for days.’
    • ‘There I was, neatening up my office one leisurely day in January.’
    • ‘Lay one pasta sheet on a clean surface and trim the edges to neaten.’
    • ‘Her thin hands slide over her clothes and hair, trying to neaten her appearance.’
    • ‘I find that this additional activity is embraced by the students, allowing them to add more color to their work and neaten up some less-than-perfect prints.’
    • ‘The edge is uneven, and it is my job to neaten it up to make it as straight and mechanical as possible.’
    • ‘I tore the page out, then grabbed a pair of scissors and cut the loose edges away, neatened the page up and spread it flat on my bed.’
    • ‘I neatened myself up and then slowly opened the door with a smile on my face.’
    • ‘There is still so much to do, but I have a cleaning service scheduled for next Thursday, so it's mostly just getting the house neatened up and all the bits put away.’
    • ‘Secure and neaten the end of a serged seam with one of the following techniques.’
    • ‘I was neatening a table of books when they walked by, Laura was giving him a tour.’
    • ‘She shook her head and stood a stack of photos on edge, knocking them against the desktop to neaten them up.’
    • ‘Stretching my legs, I pulled down the skirt I was wearing and tried to neaten my shirt.’
    • ‘I was thinking about neatening it up and presenting it online in a more clearly worked-through form, but perhaps this is as good a time as any…’
    • ‘Using a long, serrated knife, neaten the ends and cut into 2cm-thick slices.’
    • ‘The desk was piled with books and paper, it looked like someone had made a half-hearted attempt to neaten the stacks.’
    • ‘You just empty trashcans, neaten up your work area and answer customer service calls.’
    • ‘The cover is a useful thing to neaten up cable dressing, but the latches need some work.’
    • ‘If you use a nailfile to neaten the edge, only file in one direction.’
    tidy, tidy up, make neat, make neater, straighten, straighten up, smarten, smarten up, spruce up, groom, arrange, put in order, put to rights, trim
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