- 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 for on Thesaurus.com
- 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
Word Origin and History for bent on
"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.
Idioms and Phrases with 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.”