straighten


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Related to straighten: straighten up and fly right

straighten out

1. To make or become straight or aligned in some way. Can you straighten out those picture frames so they all line up? His teeth look a little crooked now, but they may straighten out as he gets older.
2. To resolve, clarify, or organize some confusion, disorder, or misunderstanding. A noun or pronoun can be used between "straighten" and "out." I need to go straighten things out between me and Sandy. The project got so muddled that they had to bring in an outside advisor to straighten it all out. Please straighten out those files before you go.
3. To improve one's or someone else's behavior, attitude, or course in life. A noun or pronoun can be used between "straighten" and "out." He got into a bit of a rut with his drinking for a while, but he's been trying to straighten himself out lately. The bosses decided to have a meeting with Samantha to try to straighten her out. Every teenager goes through a rebellious phase—I'm sure he'll straighten out when he goes to college.
See also: out, straighten

straighten up

1. To organize or clean a messy space; to tidy up. A noun or pronoun can be used between "straighten" and "up." Please straighten up your room before you go. Thanks for straightening up all those magazines&the bookshelf looks great now!
2. To resolve, clarify, or organize some confusion, disorder, or misunderstanding. A noun or pronoun can be used between "straighten" and "up." I need to go straighten things up between me and Sandy. The project got so muddled that they had to bring in an outside advisor to straighten it all up.
3. To improve one's or someone else's behavior, attitude, or course in life. A noun or pronoun can be used between "straighten" and "up." He got into a bit of a rut with his drinking for a while, but he's been trying to straighten himself up lately. The bosses decided to have a meeting with Samantha to try and straighten her up.
4. To improve one's posture. A reflexive pronoun can be used between "straighten" and "up." Stop slouching like that—straighten up! Every so often throughout the day I try to remember to straighten myself up at my desk.
See also: straighten, up

straighten out

 
1. to become straight. The road finally straightened out. The train tracks straightened out on the plain.
2. . to improve one's behavior or attitude. I hope he straightens out before he gets himself into real trouble. Fred had better straighten out soon if he wants to get a job.
See also: out, straighten

straighten someone or something up

 
1. to put someone or something into an upright position. The fence is tilted. Please straighten that post up when you get a chance. Bill, you're slouching again. Straighten up your back.
2. to tidy up someone or something. John straightened himself up a little before going out for dinner. This room is a mess. Let's straighten up this place, right now!
See also: straighten, up

straighten someone out

 
1. to make someone's body straight or orderly. The undertaker straightened Sam out in his coffin. Straighten out your body so I can massage your back.
2. . to cause someone to behave better or to have a better attitude; to reform someone. You are terrible. Someone is going to have to straighten you out! The principal straightened out the troublesome boys.
3. to help someone become less confused about something. Can you straighten me out on this matter? I will do what I can to straighten out the office staff on this question.
See also: out, straighten

straighten something out

 
1. to make something straighter. I can't straighten these heavy boxes out. Please straighten out this line of people.
2. . to bring order to something that is disorderly. See if you can straighten this mess out. Will you straighten out your room, please?
See also: out, straighten

straighten up

 
1. to sit or stand more straight. Billy's mother told him to straighten up or he'd fall out of his chair. John straightened up so he'd look taller.
2. . to behave better. Bill was acting badly for a while; then he straightened up. Sally, straighten up, or I will punish you!
See also: straighten, up

straighten up and fly right

Fig. to improve one's behavior or attitude and perform better. (Originally referred to an airplane.) If you want to keep out of trouble, you had better straighten up and fly right. Straighten up and fly right or I will send you to the principal.
See also: and, fly, right, straighten, up

straighten out

1. 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]
2. Adopt an honest, upright course, as in He's only sixteen; I'm sure he'll straighten out before long. [First half of 1900s]
See also: out, straighten

straighten up

Make tidy, as in Let's get this room straightened up. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: straighten, up

straighten out

v.
1. To extend or smooth something until straight: The reception on my radio was poor, so I straightened out the antenna. I think my arm is broken; I can't straighten it out.
2. To resolve some confusion or conflict: We had to share a room until the hotel could straighten out the mix-up with our bookings. There was confusion among the athletes about the order of the races, so the coach came and straightened it out.
3. To make someone conform to a certain viewpoint or set of principles: We need better rehabilitation programs to straighten out these criminals. If your behavior doesn't improve, we'll have to send you to military school to straighten you out.
See also: out, straighten

straighten up

v.
1. To stand erect: The drill sergeant ordered the recruits to straighten up when they started slouching in formation.
2. To put someone or something in order: I straightened up my bookshelves. The room was starting to look like a disaster zone, so we had to straighten it up. I hired a housekeeper to straighten up around the house once a week. We need to straighten up before your parents arrive.
3. To begin behaving properly: The principal cautioned the students to straighten up or face suspension.
See also: straighten, up

straighten up and fly right

in. to get serious and start behaving properly. Straighten up and fly right before you get into difficulty.
See also: and, fly, right, straighten, up
References in periodicals archive ?
The best way to straighten your own hair would be to wash and condition using a moisturising shampoo and conditioner.
He will have more surgery in October to straighten his other leg.
With this attachement, they have the ability to take a curly or wavy hair style and straighten it.
CDR, which is compatible with thio-based straightening systems, can be used to straighten hair, create soft wave, tame texture or reduce frizz.
Auckland chiropractor, Margaret Bryce is concerned by the increase in the number of people coming to her with straighten of the neck curve problems, Stuff.
Straighten the left leg out while simultaneously turning the upper body to the right, bringing the left elbow toward the right knee.
AS ONE who has suffered a burned forehead more than once when trying to straighten my fringe, I know what a welcome addition the new Vogetti pocket styler will be to millions of women.
The Infinity Hot Air Styler allows the consumer to straighten and dry hair at the same time, eliminating the need for a brush.
To duplicate more closely what occurs in running during the knee-drive phase, keep your trunk erect, fully straighten the support leg, and rise up on the ball of your foot as you drive the knee forward.
THESE "CECCHETTI" steps are not commonly given, and they are unlike most jumps in that the legs do not straighten in the usual way in the air, although the feet are fully pointed.
Once the magnetic field reaches a certain value--only a few times larger than Earth's modest magnetic field -- the ribbon abruptly begins to stiffen again, causing it to straighten.
E[acute accent]--Provides manual adjustment controls to crop and straighten the final result
Exactly how the straightening properties of formaldehyde were discovered are unclear, although its use in the textile industry to straighten wool may have sparked the idea.
CRICKET legend Andrew Flintoff is recovering in hospital after an agonising operation to straighten his leg.
But she's fortunate in having a hairdresser in the family, who showed her how to successfully straighten.