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 Rich Exner reports that filing your 2020 taxes is your chance to straighten things out and get paid. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "Ohio eliminates coronavirus curfew: The Wake Up for Friday, Feb. 12, 2021," 12 Feb. 2021 Biology aside, there is still a way to safely straighten your hair without having to deal with a ton of heat damage. Amanda Mitchell, Allure, "How to Straighten 4C Hair Without Causing Heat Damage," 21 Dec. 2020 Slowly straighten the legs to return to a high-plank position. Ashley Mateo,, "8 Moves for a Stronger and More Stable Core," 7 Oct. 2020 File that pile of papers on your desk or straighten out the cupboards. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Nov. 24, 2020: Aries, spread good vibes; Sagittarius, you should reach your goals," 24 Nov. 2020 Then straighten your arms and lift your torso and thighs up off the mat. Stephanie Mansour, CNN, "How to modify popular yoga poses if you're super inflexible," 17 Jan. 2021 Therefore, my grandmother and mother would spend hours in the kitchen trying to straighten my hair. ... Jessica Williams,, "Hairstyle discrimination now banned in New Orleans workplaces; here's why, what that means," 17 Dec. 2020 Then, after the Electoral College stepped in to straighten out a crooked election. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Republicans Will Never Accept the Election Results," 17 Dec. 2020 There are two major ways to chemically straighten curls: relaxing, which is a permanent straightening process, and keratin treatments, which are a semi-permanent procedure and don’t actually have much to do with keratin at all. Amber Rambharose, Allure, "The Science of Beauty: How to Take Care of Curly Hair," 10 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

17 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Straighten.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 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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