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See more synonyms for straighten on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to make or become straight in direction, form, position, character, conduct, condition, etc. (often followed by up or out).
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


British Dictionary definitions for straighten out

straighten out

verb (adverb)
  1. to make or become less complicated or confusedthe situation will straighten out
  2. US and Canadian to reform or become reformed
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verb (sometimes foll by up or out)
  1. to make or become straight
  2. (tr) to make neat or tidystraighten your desk
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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 out



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with straighten out

straighten out


Clear up disorder, a confusion, or a misunderstanding, as in This is an awful mess; I hope you'll straighten it out, or I don't understand; please straighten me out. [Late 1800s]

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Adopt an honest, upright course, as in He's only sixteen; I'm sure he'll straighten out before long. [First half of 1900s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.