straighten

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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 up and fly right

To organize oneself, begin acting in a serious and mature manner, and start performing the way in which others expect of one. If you don't start to straighten up and fly right soon, you're going to be out on your butt looking for a new job! I know you're anxious for your son to straighten up and fly right, but you've got to give it time. The program isn't going to correct his behavior overnight, after all.
See also: and, fly, right, 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 campaign informs people that hair straighteners can reach up to between 210 to 230degC, nearly six times the temperature of a household hot water supply, three times the temperature of a freshly-made cup of tea, and hotter than a domestic iron.
"Our advice is to turn hair straighteners off and store them in a heat-resistant bag immediately after use to prevent nasty injuries occurring to yourself or your young ones."
Keep hair straighteners out of my reach provides an overview of the dangers, simple steps for preventing accidents and essential first aid advice.
Braun's straighteners are tailor-made to meet the needs of different hair types.
To see how the straighteners perform on hair that's still attached to someone's head, nine staffers tried them at home.
"Having the straightener mounted on the feed mechanism proves to be an added bonus," remarks Musgrove, "in that we've reduced the amount of stock wasted while setting up the straightener and fine tuning for stock flatness.
Powered by a 1 hp Regen dc motor with an ac vector drive, the six bottom rolls on the straightener are gear driven.
You can see from this example that placing the straightener farther from the feed results in substantially less slack material in the loop (3 ft versus 1 ft).
The discount means shoppers can pick up the straightener for [pounds sterling]99 (saving[pounds sterling]100.99 off) and the hair dryer for [pounds sterling]69.99 (saving [pounds sterling]40 off).
A TEENAGER accused of the attempted murder of a schoolboy in Halewood said he thought he and his friends were just going for a "straightener".
SCARRED FOR LIFE THE most common location for SCARRED FOR LIFE THE most common location for a serious hair straightener burn is on the hand, but injuries have also been sustained to the head, arm and foot.
Hair straightener burns among children have doubled in recent years and two thirds of parents don't store appliances away safely.
Other items in the Vidal Sassoon Pro Series line include a straightener designed for extra long hair, a vibrating straightener that promises a smoother glide and less hair breakage, and a straightener with a built-in mirror to help users monitor the straightening process better.