straight·​en | \ ˈstrā-tᵊn How to pronounce straighten (audio) \
straightened; straightening\ ˈstrāt-​niŋ How to pronounce straighten (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 straighten (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 Beebe made sure to straighten up her living room for the event. Thuc Nhi Nguyen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Martin Jarmond saves a seat at March Madness for UCLA’s spirited seniors," 1 Apr. 2021 Muscles need to contract just the right amount to bend, straighten, lift, and twist the legs appropriately. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "This rabbit walks on its ‘hands.’ Scientists think they’ve found the genetic reason why," 25 Mar. 2021 One day a coach told Manaea to straighten his hat just before a flat-ground throwing session with Pazik catching. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, "A's Sean Manaea aims to be 'nasty' on the mound," 12 Mar. 2021 Some have spent time in jail and are seeking a second chance to straighten out their lives. Jen Chaney, Vulture, "Last Chance U: Basketball Is a Riveting, Heartbreaking Sports Doc," 11 Mar. 2021 More important, the memory of their late-game sloppiness could quickly recede into the background if the Bruins (17-6 overall, 13-4 Pac-12) can straighten themselves out in the coming days. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "A final week of cramming could help UCLA ace the test of March," 28 Feb. 2021 The text said the woman was behind on her payments and instructed her to call a certain number to straighten things out. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "Woman defrauded by fake utility; stolen license plate shows up in New Jersey: Berea police blotter," 18 Feb. 2021 But the attorney found hope in Mitchell’s pledges to straighten out his life. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, "Oakland hoops legend Hook Mitchell's life after death: False rumors, real trouble," 6 Mar. 2021 Pull your abs in and bend the knees to bring them over your head and then straighten the legs up toward the sky. Stephanie Mansour, CNN, "Reduce fatigue with this easy yoga routine," 29 Dec. 2020

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

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Straighten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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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