Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

straighten

verb
     
straight‧en
1 [intransitive and transitive] also straighten out to become straight, or to make something straight:
Can you straighten your leg?
2 [intransitive] also straighten up to make your back straight, or to stand up straight after bending down
3 [transitive] also straighten up to make something tidy:
Mum told me to straighten my room.

straighten out

phrasal verb
1

straighten something ↔ out

to deal with problems or a confused situation and make it better, especially by organizing things [= sort out]:
There are several financial problems that need to be straightened out quickly.
2 to become straight, or to make something straight:
The path soon bends to the right then straightens out.
straighten something ↔ out
She straightened out her legs.
3 to improve your bad behaviour or deal with personal problems, or to help someone do this:
He straightened out when he joined the army.
straighten somebody ↔ out
Her parents changed her school, hoping it would straighten her out.

straighten up

phrasal verb
1 to make your back straight, or to stand up straight after bending down:
He remained bent over for several seconds before slowly straightening up.
2

straighten something ↔ up

to make something tidy
3 American English to begin to behave well after behaving badly:
You'd better straighten up, young lady!

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