Definition of straighten in US English:

straighten

verb

  • 1Make or become straight.

    with object ‘she helped him straighten his tie’
    no object ‘where the river straightened he took his chance to check the barometer’
    • ‘He straightened his tie in the mirror and again afforded himself a smile.’
    • ‘There was a moment of silence before Harvey finally coughed and straightened his tie.’
    • ‘She gave a smile, walked over to her son and smoothed out his tie and straightened his jacket.’
    • ‘She straightened the collar of his shirt in a very motherly sort of way.’
    • ‘He straightened his tie, adjusted the suit coat fractionally, and marched back toward the elevators.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As the road straightened the van pulled out and blasted past.’
    • ‘The road straightened and led them between the walls of more very fancy-looking estates.’
    • ‘Candy got up uncomfortably from her bus seat, and straightened her ruffled skirt.’
    • ‘The mine company straightened the river, which used to run right through the park.’
    • ‘Flynn hesitated for a moment before slowly straightening her back and shutting the fridge door.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Libby quickly straightened her hair and smoothed out the blanket across her lap.’
    • ‘He straightened his tie and rose from the chair again.’
    • ‘The pain is still there, and I can't really straighten my back anymore.’
    make straight, align
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with 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’
      • ‘He had joined the company as a high-tech troubleshooter, an expert in straightening out these sorts of kinks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I pressed my lips together, straightening out my thoughts and choosing my words carefully, trying very hard not to be angry.’
      • ‘At five o'clock I straightened my desk and was about to head out to the elevator.’
      • ‘Anyway, we are indebted to Pope Gregory XIII for straightening up the calendar.’
      • ‘One suspects that straightening up the leadership in the schools would have a strong positive influence on the school system.’
      • ‘This was the beginning to straightening out her life.’
      • ‘It is amusing to see that pedestrians would rather make a long detour to avoid the clutter than straighten up the mess.’
      • ‘In the two weeks she's been here she's been straightening out anything around the house that isn't perfect.’
      • ‘He relinquished the hope of ever straightening out people like me.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The average identity theft victim spends 175 hours straightening out the mess.’
      • ‘He ran his fingers through his short, chocolate hair before straightening his desk and heading home.’
      • ‘And Tony's had no problem recognizing and straightening out the kid's intransigence in previous seasons.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He has to travel to Bangalore at least once, in order to straighten things out and get his money.’
      • ‘The governor has asked you to head up a bipartisan group to look at straightening out California's terrible fiscal situation.’
      • ‘While Travis' mother is at work, he straightens up the house and looks after his younger brother.’
      • ‘He found her in her library straightening things on her desk.’
      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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    2. 1.2no object Stand or sit erect after bending.
      ‘he straightened up, using the bedside table for support’
      • ‘He bent to pick up the ball and then slowly straightened, cradling it in his hands while regarding her with a crooked smile.’
      • ‘He heard her move, so he straightened up as quickly as he could to greet her.’
      • ‘She reaches her hand down to scratch her ankle, then straightens up again.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Marcus straightened from his crouching position and crossed the space between them.’
      • ‘He straightens up, leans on the broom handle and waits to see who drops by.’
      • ‘He straightens up from the foundations of the house he is helping to build.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was only when he saw my annoyance that he quickly straightened up and cleared his throat.’
      • ‘After a few minutes of driving, Renee suddenly straightened up in her seat.’
      • ‘She started to bend to gather her cloak, but straightened at the last minute.’
      • ‘Nathaniel stopped right in front of Emily, bent down, and kissed her hand lightly before straightening.’
      • ‘They quickly straightened up in their seats and tried to suppress their giggles.’
      • ‘He's so alone, she thought as she straightened and slowly walked over to stand behind him.’
      • ‘I am nudging 5ft 10 in, if you can get me to straighten up and stop slouching for a minute.’
      • ‘He turned around and bent down to pick up the lantern, but straightened and turned back around when he heard Kayla gasp.’
      • ‘Stephen straightened immediately in his chair and looked at his aide directly.’
      • ‘He straightens and stands oddly for a moment, staring blankly at the man crossing the underground parking lot twenty paces away.’
      • ‘I straightened, stretched and yawned, glancing idly about me, a man awakening from a romantic reverie.’
      stand up, stand up straight, stand upright, straighten one's back
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3straighten upno object (of a vehicle, ship, or aircraft) stop turning and move in a straight line.
      • ‘It is said to have swung left alongside the Goole turn-off, failed to straighten up and ended in the field.’
      • ‘Aircraft were warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.’
      • ‘As soon as he straightened up, he cranked the throttle right back and wheelied away up Shortwood!’
      • ‘If I attempt to straighten up, I'm going find myself running out of a flat surface to do it on.’
      • ‘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.’

Pronunciation

straighten

/ˈstrātn//ˈstreɪtn/