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[streyt-n] /ˈstreɪt n/
verb (used with or without object)
to make or become straight in direction, form, position, character, conduct, condition, etc. (often followed by up or out).
Origin of straighten
First recorded in 1535-45; straight + -en1
Related forms
straightener, noun
overstraighten, verb
prestraighten, verb (used with object)
restraighten, verb
unstraightened, adjective
well-straightened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for straighten
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You've got to get some sleep: that's the only way for you to straighten up.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
  • It bent him low, and it was only with a great effort that he was able to straighten again.

    The Bluff of the Hawk Anthony Gilmore
  • Before I could straighten him out a second and more awful idea hit him.

    Arm of the Law Harry Harrison
  • I had to climb into the cockpit and straighten out the mess.

    The Depot Master Joseph C. Lincoln
  • I'll have to run over there myself in a day or two and straighten it out.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for straighten


verb sometimes foll by up or out
to make or become straight
(transitive) to make neat or tidy: straighten your desk
Derived Forms
straightener, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for straighten

1540s, from straight + -en (1). Related: Straightened; straightening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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