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

Once there, women often spring for cuts, perms, straightening, and other treatments. Longreads, "True Roots," 5 June 2019 With hips still, push the weights toward the ceiling, straightening your arms, and keeping the weights over your chest. SELF, "Slow to Quick Strength Builder," 28 Apr. 2019 Looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the G-7 countries,’’ Trump tweeted early Friday., "President Trump says Russia should be allowed back in G-7," 8 June 2018 So, bring the right-sized wrench with you, disconnect the negative terminal, move it away from the battery and then straighten out that battery cable. Ray Magliozzi,, "Car Talk: Long-term parking doesn’t have to drain your power," 23 June 2019 Extended tongue Active The tongue straightens out when extended. Paul Hilton, National Geographic, "Poaching is sending the shy, elusive pangolin to its doom," 17 June 2019 Feeling tightness around the joints, lower back pain, difficulty straightening out bent knees, and knees that stiffen while bent are all common signs. Elissa Sanci, Woman's Day, "7 Early Symptoms of MS In Women," 13 June 2019 Stripped of the cloth innards, each coiled spring is carefully straightened and fastened to the frame before the whole is stuffed and covered again. Rowan Moore Gerety, Harper's magazine, "Downstream," 10 June 2019 The administration has proposed a long list of measures to increase competition, shed light on pharmaceutical pricing, and straighten out industry and government practices seen as artificially raising costs., "Feds: Skimping can’t save seniors from rising med cost," 4 June 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

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


food or victuals

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