straighten

(redirected from straightening)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.

straighten out

1. To resolve, clarify, or tidy up some confusion, disorder, or misunderstanding. In this usage, 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 your room before you go.
2. To improve one's or someone else's behavior, attitude, or course in life. In this usage, a name, 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 and 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 resolve, clarify, or tidy up some confusion, disorder, or misunderstanding. In this usage, 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.
2. To improve one's or someone else's behavior, attitude, or course in life. In this usage, a name, 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.
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 ?
First, the hair is washed with a special shampoo that opens up the hair cuticles in preparation for the straightening solution (in many cases, a formaldehyde mixture) which is applied next and combed through, then left on the hair for around 30 minutes.
My own unruly, strongly wavy, hair is resistant to home straightening.
She had thick, coarse, and very dry hair which was curly and unruly, this meant she spent at least an hourwashing, blow drying and then sectioning off and straightening her hair with ceramic straighteners.
If they have any curls, they want antifrizz or straightening.
Straightening (Extension) of existing plinth foundation for insta lation of 8 MVA transformer at 33/11 Kv s/s Shallpura O&M Patan
Protect your hair from the rigours of drying and straightening with this light and refreshing spray.
For those, like myself, who are totally inept, Jane offered a quick guide to straightening.
Michele Jamiolkowski, head of the team straightening the tower - said the lean had been reduced by 39.
On the morning of April 3, 1882, James busied himself dusting and straightening pictures in the parlor while his wife tended their two children in the kitchen.
We are looking forward to working with BriteSmile and being able to offer our affiliated orthodontists' patients the best in not only straightening, but whitening, teeth.
To make matters worse, Jordan's first ex-husband, Peter Andre, has blasted her for straightening their daughter Princess's hair last week, referring to his ex simply as "her mum".
Straightens, smoothes, shapes and shines as it dries, with 2000W of power and two rows of tourmaline-ceramic plates for twice the straightening power.
The Charles Worthington research was commissioned for the launch of a new Results straightening iron protection spray.
Improved straightening of skewed documents enables OmniPage Pro 8.