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See more synonyms for unbent on Thesaurus.com
  1. simple past tense and past participle of unbend.
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  1. not bent; unbowed.
  2. not having yielded or submitted.
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Origin of unbent

1475–85; (in defs 2, 3) un-1 + bent1


verb (used with object), un·bent or (Archaic) un·bend·ed, un·bend·ing.
  1. to straighten from a bent form or position.
  2. to release from the strain of formality, intense effort, etc.; relax: to unbend one's mind.
  3. to release from tension, as a bow.
  4. Nautical.
    1. to loose or untie, as a sail or rope.
    2. to unfasten from spars or stays, as sails.
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verb (used without object), un·bent or (Archaic) un·bend·ed, un·bend·ing.
  1. to relax the strictness of formality or ceremony; act in an easy, genial manner: Imagine him unbending!
  2. to become unbent; straighten.
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Origin of unbend

Middle English word dating back to 1200–50; see origin at un-2, bend1
Related formsun·bend·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for unbent

short, straightforward, solid, smooth, successive, consecutive, nonstop, true, unwind, recline, soften, calm, breathe, relax, lean, deign, rectify, uncoil, loosen, defrost

Examples from the Web for unbent

Historical Examples of unbent

  • Caradoc unbent his dignity and explained what he had observed.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock

    T. S. Stribling

  • But since the day of the funeral her supple nature had unbent.

    Audrey Craven

    May Sinclair

  • Necessarily he must have or he couldn't have unbent to me as he did.

  • But the captain took not the offered hand nor unbent his angry brow.

    Standish of Standish

    Jane G. Austin

  • Here the sails were unbent to be repaired, and tents were set up on shore.

    Captain Cook

    W.H.G. Kingston

British Dictionary definitions for unbent


  1. the past tense and past participle of unbend
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  1. not bent or bowed
  2. not compelled to yield or give way by force
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verb -bends, -bending or -bent
  1. to release or be released from the restraints of formality and ceremony
  2. informal to relax (the mind) or (of the mind) to become relaxed
  3. to become or be made straightened out from an originally bent shape or position
  4. (tr) nautical
    1. to remove (a sail) from a stay, mast, yard, etc
    2. to untie (a rope, etc) or cast (a cable) loose
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Derived Formsunbendable, adjective
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

Word Origin and History for unbent



"to relax a bow by unstringing it," mid-13c., from un- (2) + bend (v.). Figurative meaning "to become genial, relax" (1748) has a sense opposite to that of unbending "inflexible, obstinate" (1680s), which does not derive from the bowstringing image.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper