straight·en | \ˈstrā-tᵊn \
straightened; straightening\ˈstrāt-niŋ, 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, ˈstrā-tᵊn-ər \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for straighten


unbend, uncurl


bend, crook, curl, curve

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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

A few years back, actress Halle Berry sued former boyfriend Gabriel Aubrey for straightening and adding highlights to the couple's then six-year-old daughter Nahla’s head of curls without Berry’s consent. Vogue, "Kim Kardashian West Sparks Controversy By Straightening North West's Hair," 15 June 2018 If voters approve the bond issue, the city also would reconfigure a stretch of the busy West Orange Trail near City Hall to straighten out a sharp turn for cyclists and add a small park. Stephen Hudak,, "Winter Garden buys lakefront properties, envisions 'nicest park on Lake Apopka'," 8 June 2018 Once the dough is pressed or rolled into a square, tidy up the sides by pressing the blade of a chef’s knife or dough scraper against the edges to straighten them. Lisa Yockelson,, "Recipe: Strawberry shortcakes are one of the joys of berry season," 14 May 2018 Keeping your neck neutral and your back flat, drive through your heels to straighten your knees and come back to standing, squeezing your glutes at the top. Alexa Tucker, SELF, "Here's Why Trap Bar Deadlifts Like Jasmine Tookes' Are All Over Instagram," 21 Mar. 2018 Tasks will include setup, stocking, straightening, and packing up. Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press, "Things to do in metro Detroit - week of March 4," 5 Mar. 2018 Before the boiler repairs, there was a $500,000 project to straighten the sides of the building, which were beginning to lean dangerously towards the street. Anya Van Wagtendonk,, "To save the world, first they must save a building in West Philly," 12 July 2018 The Grand Junction has factored into the hot debate over the state’s big project to straighten the Massachusetts Turnpike through Allston. Adam Vaccaro,, "A three-mile train route is now 120 miles," 26 May 2018 And when things went sideways, the brass felt like the roster lacked the infrastructure to straighten much of anything out. Albert Breer,, "Legal Sports Gambling is Coming, and the NFL Is Getting Ready to Capitalize (Of Course It Is)," 29 Mar. 2018

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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Phrases Related to straighten

straighten out

straighten up

Statistics for straighten

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for straighten

The first known use of straighten was in 1542

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More Definitions for straighten



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 \
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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Comments on straighten

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