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


unbend, uncurl, unkink


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

Hines-Allen straightened up, hooked her thumbs into her No. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Myisha Hines-Allen ends memorable Louisville career with bittersweet Final Four epilogue," 31 Mar. 2018 Meanwhile, North looks equally stylish in a beige tulle dress, gold sandals, a little jewel necklace, and straightened hair. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "North West Directed a Photoshoot with Kim Kardashian and It's Obviously Perfect," 18 Dec. 2018 Value: bkr Paris Water Balm, $22 Noah Centineo Tries 9 Things He's Never Done Before Noah Centineo tries nine things he's never done before, from braiding a fan's hair and making a pizza, to doing an Elvis impersonation and straightening his hair. Elizabeth Siegel, Allure, "The October 2018 Allure Beauty Box," 1 Oct. 2018 Upon hearing the whistle, Ching straightened up and pointed skyward in a display of unquestionable jubilation. Andrew Turner,, "Daily Pilot Wrestling Dream Team: Edison’s Elijah Palacio excelled in new home," 4 May 2018 Maybe a quick visit to Stockbridge's Austen Riggs or the bucolic expanses of McLean Hospital can straighten her out. Town & Country, "Why is Boston is the Snobbiest City in the World?," 31 Jan. 2017 That hasn’t straightened problems out for some members. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "Inside the Marriott-Starwood Loyalty Program Turbulence," 28 Nov. 2018 Looking into the mirror, the model straightens out her side bang. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Bella Hadid Touched up Her Hair Before Walking in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show," 9 Nov. 2018 The Italian monument, famed for its precarious tilt, has been improving its posture, straightening nearly 1.5 inches since 2001. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "The Leaning Tower of Pisa has straightened its posture a bit," 27 Nov. 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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Statistics for straighten

Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

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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 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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Comments on straighten

What made you want to look up straighten? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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