Definition of neaten in US English:



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

    ‘she made an attempt to neaten her hair’
    • ‘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…’
    • ‘She shook her head and stood a stack of photos on edge, knocking them against the desktop to neaten them up.’
    • ‘The cover is a useful thing to neaten up cable dressing, but the latches need some work.’
    • ‘Secure and neaten the end of a serged seam with one of the following techniques.’
    • ‘Using a long, serrated knife, neaten the ends and cut into 2cm-thick slices.’
    • ‘I neatened myself up and then slowly opened the door with a smile on my face.’
    • ‘The edge is uneven, and it is my job to neaten it up to make it as straight and mechanical as possible.’
    • ‘If you use a nailfile to neaten the edge, only file in one direction.’
    • ‘The desk was piled with books and paper, it looked like someone had made a half-hearted attempt to neaten the stacks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Stretching my legs, I pulled down the skirt I was wearing and tried to neaten my shirt.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her thin hands slide over her clothes and hair, trying to neaten her appearance.’
    • ‘She stood up, too hastily, all of a sudden interested in neatening the bed she had left unmade for days.’
    • ‘Lay one pasta sheet on a clean surface and trim the edges to neaten.’
    • ‘There I was, neatening up my office one leisurely day in January.’
    • ‘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 was neatening a table of books when they walked by, Laura was giving him a tour.’
    • ‘You just empty trashcans, neaten up your work area and answer customer service calls.’
    • ‘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.’
    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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