- 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.
Origin of bent1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Origin of bent2
- 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 bent
One detainee was bent over for a rectal feeding that involved Ensure, the protein shake.Inside the CIA’s Sadistic Dungeon
December 9, 2014
But Flagg, too, comes apart in his machinations, bent ever more fully on political domination.McConaughey’s ‘Stand’—And Ours
December 5, 2014
Eric Garner was bent over, wrestled down, spread out, and squeezed until he popped.The Day I Used Eric Garner’s Voice
December 5, 2014
“I was just like bent over, and he was saying all kinds of dirty stuff,” she said.Bill Cosby’s Long List of Accusers (So Far): 18 Alleged Sexual Assault Victims Between 1965-2004
November 24, 2014
He bent the truth throughout his life to ensure that he was known as the man who had invented the lie detector test.Wonder Woman’s Creation Story Is Wilder Than You Could Ever Imagine
November 3, 2014
But as Philothea bent over him, she perceived a faint pulsation of the heart.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
This business attended to, Robert bent his steps to Mr. Paine's office.
The two bent their steps to the shore, and looked out to sea.
How pale and eager their faces looked as they bent above him!Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Austin rose and bent over Katherine's chair in some concern.Viviette
William J. Locke
- not straight; curved
- (foll by on) fixed (on a course of action); resolved (to); determined (to)
- dishonest; corrupt
- (of goods) stolen
- crazy; mad
- British offensivehomosexual
- personal inclination, propensity, or aptitude
- capacity of endurance (esp in the phrase to the top of one's bent)
- civil engineering a framework placed across a structure to stiffen it
- short for bent grass
- a stalk of bent grass
- archaic any stiff grass or sedge
- Scot and Northern English dialect heath or moorland
- 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 bent
"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).
"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.
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.