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 formsstraight·en·er, nouno·ver·straight·en, verbpre·straight·en, verb (used with object)re·straight·en, verbun·straight·ened, adjectivewell-straight·ened, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for straighten

Contemporary Examples of straighten

Historical Examples of straighten

  • 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
(tr) to make neat or tidystraighten your desk
Derived Formsstraightener, 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

Word Origin and History for straighten

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper