1 [bent]
curved; crooked: a bent bow; a bent stick.
determined; set; resolved (usually followed by on ): to be bent on buying a new car.
Chiefly British Slang.
morally crooked; corrupt.
stolen: bent merchandise.
direction taken, as by one's interests; inclination: a bent for painting.
capacity of endurance: to work at the top of one's bent.
Civil Engineering. a transverse frame, as of a bridge or an aqueduct, designed to support either vertical or horizontal loads.
Archaic. bent state or form; curvature.

1525–35; orig. past participle of bend1

1. bowed, flexed. 2. fixed. 4. tendency, propensity, proclivity, predilection, penchant, partiality, leaning, bias. Unabridged


2 [bent]
a stalk of bent grass.
Scot., North England. (formerly) any stiff grass or sedge.
British Dialect. a moor; heath; tract of uncultivated, grassy land, used as a pasture or hunting preserve.

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


1 [bend]
verb (used with object), bent or (Archaic) bended; bending.
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.
to direct or turn in a particular direction: to bend one's energies to the task.
to cause to submit or yield: to bend someone to one's will.
to modify or relax (restrictions, regulations, etc.) temporarily or in certain circumstances: to bend the rules.
to incline mentally (usually followed by to or toward ): bending his thoughts back toward his childhood.
to pull back the string of (a bow or the like) in preparation for shooting.
Nautical. to fasten.
Archaic. to strain or brace tensely (often followed by up ).
verb (used without object), bent or (Archaic) bended; bending.
to become curved, crooked, or bent: a bow that bends easily.
to assume a bent posture; stoop (often followed by over ): to bend as one walks; to bend over and pick up something.
to turn or incline in a particular direction; be directed: The road bent toward the south.
to yield or submit; give in.
to bow in submission or reverence: bending to one's monarch.
to direct one's energies: We bent to our work as the bell sounded.
the act of bending.
something that bends; curve; crook: a bend in the road; a bend in the curtain rod.
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.
bends, Nautical.
thick planking immediately below the waterways of a wooden vessel.
the wales of a vessel.
the bends, aeroembolism ( def 2 ).
around/round the bend, Slang. insane; crazy: These interruptions will send me round the bend!
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.

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

bendable, adjective
nonbending, adjective
rebendable, adjective

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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bend1 (bɛnd)
vb , 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.  (intr; often foll by down, etc) to incline the body; stoop; bow
4.  to submit or cause to submit: to bend before superior force
5.  (tr) to turn or direct (one's eyes, steps, attention, etc)
6.  (tr) to concentrate (the mind); apply oneself closely
7.  (tr) 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
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.  slang (Brit) round the bend mad; crazy; eccentric
[Old English bendan; related to Old Norse benda, Middle High German benden; see bind, band³]

bend2 (bɛnd)
heraldry an ordinary consisting of a diagonal line traversing a shield
[Old English bendband²; see bend1]

bent1 (bɛnt)
1.  not straight; curved
2.  (foll by on) fixed (on a course of action); resolved (to); determined (to)
3.  slang
 a.  dishonest; corrupt
 b.  (of goods) stolen
 c.  crazy; mad
 d.  offensive (Brit) homosexual
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)
1.  short for bent grass
2.  a stalk of bent grass
3.  archaic any stiff grass or sedge
4.  dialect (Scot), (Northern English) heath or moorland
[Old English bionot; related to Old Saxon binet, Old High German binuz rush]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. bendan "to confine with a string," causative of bindan "to bind," from P.Gmc. base *band- "string, band" (cf. O.N. benda "to join, strain, strive, bend"), from PIE base *bhendh- (cf. Goth. bindan, O.H.G. bintan, Skt. badhnati "binds," Lith. bendras "partner;" O.Pers. bandaka- "subject"). Modern
sense (early 14c.) is via notion of bending a bow to string it. Cognate with band, bind, and bond. The noun meaning "thing of bent shape" is from c.1600. The bends "decompression pain" first attested 1894.

"mental inclination," 1570s, from the adj., "not straight" (late 14c.), originally pp. of bend. The verb meaning "directed in a course" is from 1690s. Phrase bent out of shape "extremely upset" is 1960s Air Force and college student slang.

"stiff grass," O.E. beonet, from W.Gmc. *binut- "rush, marsh grass" (cf. Ger. binse "rush, reed"), of unknown origin. An obsolete word, but surviving in place names (cf. Bentley, from O.E. Beonet-leah).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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.
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Example sentences
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.
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