[ bend ]
/ bɛnd /
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verb (used with object), bent or (Archaic) bend·ed; bend·ing.
verb (used without object), bent or (Archaic) bend·ed; bend·ing.
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Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Idioms about bend

    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 bend

First recorded before 1000; Middle English verb benden, binde, Old English bendan “to bind, bend (a bow)”; cognate with Middle High German benden, Old Norse benda; akin to Old Norse band “band, cord, confederacy”; see band3

synonym study for bend

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.


bend·a·ble, adjectivenon·bend·ing, adjectivere·bend·a·ble, adjective

Other definitions for bend (2 of 3)

[ bend ]
/ bɛnd /

  1. a diagonal band extending from the dexter chief of an escutcheon to the sinister base.Compare bend sinister.
  2. in bend, (of a charge) set diagonally or in a diagonal row.
Tanning. half of a trimmed butt or hide.

Origin of bend

First recorded before 1000; Middle English adjective bende; blend of Old English bend “band, fetter” and Middle French bende (Medieval Latin benda, binda ); see band2, band3

Other definitions for bend (3 of 3)

[ bend ]
/ bɛnd /

a city in central Oregon.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition of bend?

Bend means to make something change its shape from straight to curved or to make someone submit. A bend is a curve or a turn. The word bend has several other senses as a verb and a noun.

If you bend something that is straight, you are forcing it into a curve or an angle. If you bend a drinking straw, for example, you are using your hands to force it to curve or to slant. If you bend something too far, it may snap or break. Something or someone that bends is a bender.

  • Real-life examples: A baker needs to bend dough to make a pretzel. Yoga includes a lot of bending forward and backward.
  • Used in a sentence: Jonah’s arms were so sore after lifting weights that he could barely bend his arms.

Bend can also be used to mean to become curved or angled. This sense is often followed by the word over or down when referring to a person bending to stoop down. The adjective bendy describes something as bending easily or having a tendency to bend.

  • Used in a sentence: I bent over and picked up all of the trash on the ground.

A bend is a curve or change in direction.

  • Used in a sentence: When driving, you need to be careful of sudden bends in the road.

Bend can also mean to make someone submit or yield or to submit to someone else.

  • Used in a sentence: Charlemagne forced the conquered people to bend to his will.

Armando bent to her demands because he had no other choice.

Where does bend come from?

The first records of bend come from before 1000. It ultimately comes from the Old English verb bendan, meaning “to bind” or “to bend (a bow).” Bend is related to the word band.

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What are some other forms related to bend?

  • bender (noun)
  • bendy (adjective)
  • bendable (adjective)
  • nonbending (adjective)
  • rebendable (adjective)

What are some synonyms for bend?

What are some words that share a root or word element with bend

What are some words that often get used in discussing bend?

How is bend used in real life?

Bend is a common word used to mean to make something curved or to become curved.

Try using bend!

Is bend used correctly in the following sentence?

I had to bend the envelope a little bit to get it to fit inside the mailbox.

How to use bend in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bend (1 of 2)

/ (bɛnd) /

verb bends, bending or bent
See also bends

Derived forms of bend

bendable, adjective

Word Origin for bend

Old English bendan; related to Old Norse benda, Middle High German benden; see bind, band ³

British Dictionary definitions for bend (2 of 2)

/ (bɛnd) /

heraldry an ordinary consisting of a diagonal line traversing a shield

Word Origin for bend

Old English bend band ²; see bend 1
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with bend


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.