follow Dictionary.com

Submit your word to be a Word of the Day!

bent1

[bent] /bɛnt/
adjective
1.
curved; crooked:
a bent bow; a bent stick.
2.
determined; set; resolved (usually followed by on):
to be bent on buying a new car.
3.
Chiefly British Slang.
  1. morally crooked; corrupt.
  2. stolen:
    bent merchandise.
  3. homosexual.
noun
4.
direction taken, as by one's interests; inclination:
a bent for painting.
5.
capacity of endurance:
to work at the top of one's bent.
6.
Civil Engineering. a transverse frame, as of a bridge or an aqueduct, designed to support either vertical or horizontal loads.
7.
Archaic. bent state or form; curvature.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; orig. past participle of bend1
Synonyms
1. bowed, flexed. 2. fixed. 4. tendency, propensity, proclivity, predilection, penchant, partiality, leaning, bias.

bent2

[bent] /bɛnt/
noun
2.
a stalk of bent grass.
3.
Scot., North England. (formerly) any stiff grass or sedge.
4.
British Dialect. a moor; heath; tract of uncultivated, grassy land, used as a pasture or hunting preserve.
Origin
1300-50; Middle English; earlier benet-, bunet- (in compounds), Old English beonet-, beonot- (in place names); cognate with Old High German binuz (compare German Binse) rush

bend1

[bend] /bɛnd/
verb (used with object), bent or (Archaic) bended; bending.
1.
to force (an object, especially a long or thin one) from a straight form into a curved or angular one, or from a curved or angular form into some different form:
to bend an iron rod into a hoop.
2.
to direct or turn in a particular direction:
to bend one's energies to the task.
3.
to cause to submit or yield:
to bend someone to one's will.
4.
to modify or relax (restrictions, regulations, etc.) temporarily or in certain circumstances:
to bend the rules.
5.
to incline mentally (usually followed by to or toward):
bending his thoughts back toward his childhood.
6.
to pull back the string of (a bow or the like) in preparation for shooting.
7.
Nautical. to fasten.
8.
Archaic. to strain or brace tensely (often followed by up).
verb (used without object), bent or (Archaic) bended; bending.
9.
to become curved, crooked, or bent:
a bow that bends easily.
10.
to assume a bent posture; stoop (often followed by over):
to bend as one walks; to bend over and pick up something.
11.
to turn or incline in a particular direction; be directed:
The road bent toward the south.
12.
to yield or submit; give in.
13.
to bow in submission or reverence:
bending to one's monarch.
14.
to direct one's energies:
We bent to our work as the bell sounded.
noun
15.
the act of bending.
16.
something that bends; curve; crook:
a bend in the road; a bend in the curtain rod.
17.
Nautical. any of various loops or knots for joining the ends of two ropes or the like, or for joining the end of a rope or the like to some other object.
18.
bends, Nautical.
  1. thick planking immediately below the waterways of a wooden vessel.
  2. the wales of a vessel.
19.
the bends, aeroembolism (def 2).
Idioms
20.
around / round the bend, Slang. insane; crazy:
These interruptions will send me round the bend!
21.
bend / lean / fall over backward, to exert oneself to the utmost; make a serious effort:
They bent over backward to make sure their guests were comfortable.
Origin
before 1000; Middle English benden (v.) Old English bendan to bind, bend (a bow); cognate with Middle High German benden, Old Norse benda; akin to Old Norse band band. See band3
Related forms
bendable, adjective
nonbending, adjective
rebendable, adjective
Synonyms
1. curve, crook, flex, bow. 3. mold, subdue, influence. 10. Bend, bow, stoop imply taking a bent posture. Bend and bow are used of the head and upper body; stoop is used of the body only.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for bent
  • bent tracks will allow the rollers to pop out, making it difficult to raise or lower the door.
  • He bent down, seized upon it and lifted it to a flickering light with a cry of thankful joy.
  • It should be possible to tailor these so that sound waves are bent such that no echo results.
  • Intriguingly, many of the items seemed to have been bent or broken.
  • The sea horse's neck morphology is bent on capturing prey.
  • He smiled broadly and bent down face to face with me.
  • When figs are ripe, they detach easily when lifted and bent back toward the branch.
  • The bent pyramid likely had to have a new slope so that the base would not crack.
  • They seem bent on getting their undergraduate years over as soon as possible.
  • bent by millennia of interment, the skull had a deformed shape that made it tough to tag as totally human.
British Dictionary definitions for bent

bent1

/bɛnt/
adjective
1.
not straight; curved
2.
(foll by on) fixed (on a course of action); resolved (to); determined (to)
3.
(slang)
  1. dishonest; corrupt
  2. (of goods) stolen
  3. crazy; mad
  4. (Brit, offensive) homosexual
noun
4.
personal inclination, propensity, or aptitude
5.
capacity of endurance (esp in the phrase to the top of one's bent)
6.
(civil engineering) a framework placed across a structure to stiffen it

bent2

/bɛnt/
noun
1.
short for bent grass
2.
a stalk of bent grass
3.
(archaic) any stiff grass or sedge
4.
(Scot & Northern English, dialect) heath or moorland
Word Origin
Old English bionot; related to Old Saxon binet, Old High German binuz rush

bend1

/bɛnd/
verb bends, bending, bent
1.
to form or cause to form a curve, as by pushing or pulling
2.
to turn or cause to turn from a particular direction: the road bends left past the church
3.
(intransitive; often foll by down, etc) to incline the body; stoop; bow
4.
to submit or cause to submit: to bend before superior force
5.
(transitive) to turn or direct (one's eyes, steps, attention, etc)
6.
(transitive) to concentrate (the mind); apply oneself closely
7.
(transitive) (nautical) to attach or fasten, as a sail to a boom or a line to a cleat
8.
(informal) bend over backwards, to make a special effort, esp in order to please: he bends over backwards to accommodate his customers
9.
(informal) bend someone's ear, to speak at length to an unwilling listener, esp to voice one's troubles
10.
(informal) bend the rules, to ignore rules or change them to suit one's own convenience
noun
11.
a curved part, as in a road or river
12.
(nautical) a knot or eye in a line for joining it to another or to an object
13.
the act or state of bending
14.
(Brit, slang) round the bend, mad; crazy; eccentric
See also bends
Derived Forms
bendable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English bendan; related to Old Norse benda, Middle High German benden; see bind, band³

bend2

/bɛnd/
noun
1.
(heraldry) an ordinary consisting of a diagonal line traversing a shield
Word Origin
Old English bendband²; see bend1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for bent
n.

"mental inclination," 1570s, probably from earlier literal sense "condition of being deflected or turned" (1530s), from bent (adj.) "not straight" (q.v.).

"stiff grass," Old English beonet, from West Germanic *binut- "rush, marsh grass" (cf. Old Saxon binet, Old High German binuz, German Binse "rush, reed"), of unknown origin. An obsolete word, but surviving in place names (cf. Bentley, from Old English Beonet-leah; Bentham).

adj.

"not straight," late 14c. (earlier ibent, c.1300, from past participle of bend (v.). Meaning "turned or inclined in some direction" is from 1530s, probably as a translation of Latin inclinatio. Meaning "directed in a course" is from 1690s. Figurative phrase bent out of shape "extremely upset" is 1960s U.S. Air Force and college student slang.

bend

v.

Old English bendan "to bend a bow; confine with a string, fetter," causative of bindan "to bind," from Proto-Germanic base *band- "string, band" (cf. Old Norse benda "to join, strain, strive, bend"), from PIE root *bhendh- "to bind" (cf. Gothic bindan, Old High German bintan, Sanskrit badhnati "binds," Lithuanian bendras "partner;" Old Persian bandaka- "subject").

Modern sense (early 14c.) is via notion of bending a bow to string it. Cognate with band, bind, and bond. Related: Bended; bent; bending.

n.

"a bending or curving," 1590s; "thing of bent shape," c.1600, from bend (v.). Earlier "act of drawing a bow" (mid-15c.). The bends "decompression pain" first attested 1894.

"broad diagonal band in a coat-of-arms, etc.," c.1400, from earlier sense of "thin, flat strap for wrapping round," from Old English bend "fetter, shackle, chain," from PIE *bhendh- (see bend (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
bent in Medicine

bend (běnd)
v. bent (běnt), bend·ing, bends
To incline the body; stoop.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for bent

bent

adjective
  1. Intoxicated, either from alcohol or narcotics (1830s+)
  2. Having very little money: I'm not quite broke, but quite bent (1940s+)
  3. Eccentric; odd; cracked, wacky (1940s+)
  4. Homosexual (1930+)
  5. Sexually aberrant; kinky: Charley got bent bad over women. He was kinky when it came to ladies (1930+)
  6. Dishonest; shady; crooked: look a little bent, look like you were up for a little whoremongering and black-marketing and smuggling (1900s+)
  7. Stolen, said esp of a car (1900s+ Underworld)
  8. Angry; upset; bent out of shape (1970s+ Air Force)

bend

noun

bender (1870s+)

verb

To slur a note: They alter pitch and they call it ''bending'' (1940s+ Jazz musicians)

Related Terms

around the bend


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with bent
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for bent

Bend

city, seat (1916) of Deschutes county, central Oregon, U.S. It lies along the Deschutes River, in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Range (west), and is bordered by Pilot Butte (east). Laid out in 1904, the community grew after the Deschutes Irrigation and Power Company opened farmland for settlement in 1909. Vast timber resources influenced a railroad boom (1911), sawmills were built, and wood industries developed. Bend is now the headquarters for the Deschutes National Forest and is a centre for tourism because of its proximity to lakes, lava beds, caves, and mountain and ski resorts. Central Oregon Community College was established there in 1949. Newberry National Volcanic Monument, which includes the 6,200-foot- (1,890-metre-) long Lava River Cave, is 12.5 miles (20 km) south of the city. Inc. 1904. Pop. (1990) 20,469; (2000) 52,029.

Learn more about Bend with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for bent

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bent

6
8
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with bent

Nearby words for bent