bent on


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
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
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

"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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

bent on

Also, bent upon. Determined, resolved, as in Jamie is bent on winning the math prize. This phrase, first recorded in 1762, always uses the past participle of the verb bend in the sense of "tend toward."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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