- 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).
- 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.
Origin of bend1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for bending
In this light, shutting down the Government rather than bending on legislation becomes a moral imperative.The Tea Party Isn’t a Political Movement, It’s a Religious One
July 13, 2014
You must work standing up, bending over, and exerting yourself most or all of the time.Ad's Message to Moms: If You Don’t Think Parenting Sucks, You’re Doing it Wrong
April 18, 2014
Bending, with a breaking heart, I touched the marble drapery with my lips, then crept back into the silent house.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
While bending down to accept flowers from a school girl, Middleton's skirt flew up behind her.Ann Demeulemeester to Exit Namesake Label; Kate Middleton Pulls a Marilyn Monroe
The Fashion Beast Team
November 20, 2013
Bending to pressure, Obama announced a patch to health-care reform that will avoid more cancelled plans.It Wasn’t Broke, But Obama Fixed It Anyway
November 14, 2013
The whole rested on a golden image of Atlas, bending beneath the weight.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
He took the hand which she extended and, bending over it, kissed it gallantly.Viviette
William J. Locke
She smiled, but there was a hint of grimness in the bending of her lips.Within the Law
He turned the car toward the suburbs, and then, bending toward her, smiled into her eyes.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
"You need fear nothing from these Indians," I said, bending over him.In the Valley
- to form or cause to form a curve, as by pushing or pulling
- to turn or cause to turn from a particular directionthe road bends left past the church
- (intr; often foll by down , etc) to incline the body; stoop; bow
- to submit or cause to submitto bend before superior force
- (tr) to turn or direct (one's eyes, steps, attention, etc)
- (tr) to concentrate (the mind); apply oneself closely
- (tr) nautical to attach or fasten, as a sail to a boom or a line to a cleat
- bend over backwards informal to make a special effort, esp in order to pleasehe bends over backwards to accommodate his customers
- bend someone's ear informal to speak at length to an unwilling listener, esp to voice one's troubles
- bend the rules informal to ignore rules or change them to suit one's own convenience
- a curved part, as in a road or river
- nautical a knot or eye in a line for joining it to another or to an object
- the act or state of bending
- round the bend British slang mad; crazy; eccentric
- heraldry an ordinary consisting of a diagonal line traversing a shield
Word Origin and History for bending
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").
"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.)).
- To incline the body; stoop.