unbend

When you make something straight, you unbend it. If your knees are stiff, it can be hard to unbend them after sitting cross-legged on the floor for a while.

To straighten something bent or twisted is to unbend it. You can finally unbend your arm once you get that cast off! And when you relax or loosen up, you figuratively unbend: "It'll be nice to take it easy this weekend, and finally unbend after a long, busy week." The original meaning of this verb was "relax a bow by unstringing it," from the word bend and its earliest definition, "bend a bow."

Definitions of unbend
  1. verb
    straighten up or out; make straight
    synonyms: straighten
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    Antonyms:
    bend, flex
    form a curve
    type of:
    change posture
    undergo a change in bodily posture
  2. verb
    free from flexure
    unbend a bow”
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    Antonyms:
    bend, deform, flex, turn, twist
    cause (a plastic object) to assume a crooked or angular form
    type of:
    straighten, straighten out
    make straight
  3. verb
    unfasten, as a sail, from a spar or a stay
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    type of:
    unfasten
    cause to become undone
  4. verb
    make less taut
    synonyms: relax
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    types:
    unbrace
    remove from tension
    type of:
    loose, loosen
    make loose or looser
  5. verb
    become less tense, rest, or take one's ease
    synonyms: decompress, loosen up, relax, slow down, unwind
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    Antonyms:
    tense, tense up
    become tense, nervous, or uneasy
    types:
    vege out, vegetate
    engage in passive relaxation
    sit back, take it easy
    settle into a comfortable sitting position
    type of:
    change state, turn
    undergo a transformation or a change of position or action
  6. verb
    release from mental strain, tension, or formality
    unbend the mind from absorbing too much information”
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    type of:
    loosen up, make relaxed, relax, unlax, unstrain, unwind
    cause to feel relaxed
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