When you straighten something, you either unbend it or tidy it up. So you might straighten your legs, get off the couch, and straighten the room.

To make something straight is to straighten it. When you uncross your legs and stretch them out in front of you, you straighten them. And if you adjust a picture on the wall so it's perfectly level, you straighten it. In the the 14th century, the equivalent verb was straight — so in those days, your mom would have said, "Straight your bedroom before you go out with your friends!"

Definitions of straighten
  1. verb
    make straight or straighter
    Straighten this post”
    straighten hair”
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    type of:
    arrange, set up
    put into a proper or systematic order
  2. verb
    make straight
    synonyms: straighten out
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    cause to become untwisted
    free from flexure
    open or straighten out; unbend
    channelise, channelize
    cause to form a channel
    undo what has been twined together
    undo strands that have been woven together
    straighten with a comb
    comb (hair) into a roach
    clean (a horse) with a currycomb
    hackle, hatchel, heckle
    comb with a heckle
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  3. verb
    straighten up or out; make straight
    synonyms: unbend
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    bend, flex
    form a curve
    type of:
    change posture
    undergo a change in bodily posture
  4. verb
    get up from a sitting or slouching position
    “The students straightened when the teacher entered”
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    rear, rise up
    stand up on the hind legs, of quadrupeds
    draw up, pull up, straighten up
    straighten oneself
    rear back
    rear backwards on its hind legs
    type of:
    change posture
    undergo a change in bodily posture
  5. verb
    put (things or places) in order
    synonyms: clean up, neaten, square away, straighten out, tidy, tidy up
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    make, make up
    put in order or neaten
    clean, clean house, houseclean
    clean and tidy up the house
    G.I., GI
    clean in preparation for inspection
    thoroughly clean the entire house, often done only once a year
    type of:
    bring order to or into
  6. verb
    straighten by unrolling
    synonyms: roll out
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    type of:
    disentangle, unwind
    separate the tangles of
Word Family
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