straight·​en | \ ˈstrā-tᵊn How to pronounce straighten (audio) \
straightened; straightening\ ˈstrāt-​niŋ How to pronounce straightening (audio) , ˈstrā-​tᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of straighten

transitive verb

: to make straight usually used with up or out

intransitive verb

: to become straight usually used with up or out

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Other Words from straighten

straightener \ ˈstrāt-​nər How to pronounce straightener (audio) , ˈstrā-​tᵊn-​ər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for straighten



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Examples of straighten in a Sentence

He straightened the bent antenna. The drooping flowers straightened in the rain.
Recent Examples on the Web Grasp the edge with straight arms and bend and straighten your elbows. Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, "Older and Stuck at Home? Expert Advice on Fitness," 22 Apr. 2020 Happily, the truck’s big 5.7-liter V-8 engine comes to the rescue when the road straightens out. cleveland, "Toyota’s Sequoia warhorse is aging well (review)," 18 Apr. 2020 Between curling irons, flatirons, highlights, and straightening treatments, there are endless combinations of ways to customize your hair to your preferences—which can take a huge toll on it in the process. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "10 Healthy Hair Tips That Actually Work," 10 Mar. 2020 Known for his ability to heal physical disabilities, a scholar sent for the bishop to heal his only son, who could not speak or straighten his body. Simon Maina, National Geographic, "Valentine's Day wasn't always about love," 12 Feb. 2020 Instead, the president is seen fidgeting, pointing around the room, straightening his jacket, and at one point waving his fingers in the air as if conducting an invisible orchestra., "Trump said everyone should ‘stand proudly’ for anthem. He fidgeted and air-conducted at his Super Bowl party.," 4 Feb. 2020 Something sharp will straighten up the somersaulting minor panics in your neural tissue. Maggie Lange, Bon Appétit, "There's No Better Time to… Make Yourself a Bedtime Elixir," 28 Mar. 2020 The latest iterations of flatirons straighten hair without damage or drama. Glamour Beauty Editors, Glamour, "Shop All the Glamour Beauty Awards Readers’ Choice Hair Nominees," 15 Jan. 2020 As a result of the neglect, the victim could no longer straighten her legs fully, lost the ability to sit up by herself and was hospitalized for more than six weeks to treat bed sores. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "West Milwaukee man charged after leaving his paraplegic girlfriend stranded, and in need of hospitalization," 12 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'straighten.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of straighten

1542, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for straighten

Time Traveler

The first known use of straighten was in 1542

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Statistics for straighten

Last Updated

15 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Straighten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for straighten


How to pronounce straighten (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of straighten

: to make (something) straight or to become straight
: to make (something) organized or tidy : to put (something) in order


straight·​en | \ ˈstrā-tᵊn How to pronounce straighten (audio) \
straightened; straightening

Kids Definition of straighten

1 : to make or become straight The road straightened out.
2 : to put in order Please straighten up the room.

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