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bend 1

v. bent (bĕnt), bend·ing, bends
a. To cause to assume a curved or angular shape: bend a piece of iron into a horseshoe.
b. To bring (a bow, for example) into a state of tension by drawing on a string or line.
c. To force to assume a different direction or shape, according to one's own purpose: "Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events" (Robert F. Kennedy).
d. To misrepresent; distort: bend the truth.
e. To relax or make an exception to: bend a rule to allow more members into the club.
2. To cause to swerve from a straight line; deflect: Light is bent as it passes through water.
3. To render submissive; subdue: "[His] words so often bewitched crowds and bent them to his will" (W. Bruce Lincoln).
4. To apply (the mind) closely: "The weary naval officer goes to bed at night having bent his brain all day to a scheme of victory" (Jack Beatty).
5. Nautical To fasten: bend a mainsail onto the boom.
a. To deviate from a straight line or position: The lane bends to the right at the bridge.
b. To assume a curved, crooked, or angular form or direction: The saplings bent in the wind.
2. To incline the body; stoop.
3. To make a concession; yield.
4. To apply oneself closely; concentrate: She bent to her task.
a. The act or fact of bending.
b. The state of being bent.
2. Something bent: a bend in the road.
3. bends Nautical The thick planks in a ship's side; wales.
4. bends (used with a sing. or pl. verb) Decompression sickness. Used with the.
around the bend Slang
Mentally deranged; crazy.
bend (one's) elbow Slang
To drink alcoholic beverages.
bend out of shape Slang
To annoy or anger.
bend/lean over backward
To make an effort greater than is required.
bend (someone's) ear Slang
To talk to at length, usually excessively.

[Middle English benden, from Old English bendan; see bhendh- in Indo-European roots.]

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bend 2

1. Heraldry A band passing from the upper dexter corner of an escutcheon to the lower sinister corner.
2. Nautical A knot that joins a rope to a rope or another object.

[Middle English, from Old English bend, band, and from Old French bende, bande, band (of Germanic origin; see bhendh- in Indo-European roots).]


A city of central Oregon on the Deschutes River in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Range.


  1. As crooked as a corkscrew —George Kaufman and Moss Hart
  2. As crooked as a dog’s elbow —F. T. Elworthy
  3. As crooked as a ram’s horn —Charles Caleb Colton
  4. Bending from the waist as if he was going to close up like a jackknife —John Dos Passos
  5. Bend like a finger joint —Charles Wright
  6. Bend like sheets of tin —Palmer Cox
  7. Bends with her laugh … like a rubber stick being shaken —Alice McDermott
  8. Bent as a country lane —John Wainwright
  9. Bent double like a tree in a high wind —Caryl Phillips
  10. Bent down like violets after rain —Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  11. Bent like a birch ice-laden —James Agee
  12. Bent like a bow —Aharon Megged

    A variation on the bent bow image from William Mcllvanney’s novel, Laidlow: “Arching his body like a bow.”

  13. Bent like a broken flower —Algernon Charles Swinburne
  14. Bent like a rainbow —Robert Southey

    Another way to express this image is to be “Bent like a rainbow arch.”

  15. Bent … like a soldier at the approach of an assault —Victor Hugo
  16. Bent like a wishbone —William Kennedy
  17. Bent slightly like a man who has been shot but continues to stand —Flannery O’Connor
  18. (The headwaiter) bowed like a poppy in the breeze —Ogden Nash
  19. Bows down like a willow tree in a storm —Erich Maria Remarque
  20. Coiled like a fetus —William H. Gass

    A variation by Derek Lambert:“Curled up like a bulky fetus.”

  21. Coiled up like the letter ‘S’ —Damon Runyon
  22. Crooked like a comma —Sharon Sheehe Stark
  23. Curled himself like a comma into the waiting cab —William H. Hallhan
  24. Curled like a ball —Sterling Hayden
  25. Curled up in a ball like a wet puppy —Amos Oz
  26. Curled up [in sleeping position] like a fist around an egg —Leonard Michaels
  27. Curled up like a gun-dog —Colette
  28. (Bent over your books) curled up like a porcupine with a bellyache —Marge Piercy
  29. Curled up like fried bacon —Anon
  30. Curling up like a small animal —Nina Bawden
  31. Curling up like burning cardboard —Lawrence Durrell
  32. [A cat] curls up like a dormer mouse —Jayne Anne Phillips
  33. Drooped like a flower in the frost —John Greenleaf Whittier
  34. Folded over like a ruler from the waist —William H. Gass
  35. Folded up, like a marionette with cheap wooden hinges, and sat down —Graham Masterton
  36. (Never will I be) gibbous like the moon —Diane Ackerman
  37. Lean forward like firemen pulling a hose —Miller Williams
  38. Tilting like a paper cutout —Susan Minot
  39. Twisted as an old paint tube —Fannie Hurst
  40. A very old lady, her back curved over like a snail’s —Daphne Merkin
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.bending - movement that causes the formation of a curvebending - movement that causes the formation of a curve
motion, movement - a natural event that involves a change in the position or location of something
deflexion, refraction, deflection - the amount by which a propagating wave is bent
2.bending - the property of being bent or deflected
physical property - any property used to characterize matter and energy and their interactions
wind deflection, windage - the deflection of a projectile resulting from the effects of wind
refractiveness, refractivity - the physical property of a medium as determined by its index of refraction
3.bending - the act of bending somethingbending - the act of bending something  
change of shape - an action that changes the shape of something
flexion, flexure - act of bending a joint; especially a joint between the bones of a limb so that the angle between them is decreased
crouch - the act of bending low with the limbs close to the body
hunch - the act of bending yourself into a humped position
incurvation - the action of creating a curved shape


Having bends, curves, or angles:
References in classic literature ?
This cave was made with a clothes horse for a roof, bureaus for walls, and in it was a small furnace in full blast, with a black pot on it and an old witch bending over it.
Bending down suddenly he picked up an ear of the yellow corn and threw it at the fence.
We found Peter out behind his kitchen, bending over a washtub.
He hesitated a single instant, and bending a cautious glance toward his companion, he continued, in a manner that was divided between interrogation and assertion.
This same slighted, forgotten, uncomprehended, but still foolish and forgiving Nature seemed to be bending over her frightened and listening ear with vague but thrilling murmurings of freedom and independence.
Did you never hear," whispered her cousin, bending towards her, "of Clifford Pyncheon?
said the minister, bending his ear close to her lips.
Yes, we became very wakeful; so much so that our recumbent position began to grow wearisome, and by little and little we found ourselves sitting up; the clothes well tucked around us, leaning against the head-board with our four knees drawn up close together, and our two noses bending over them, as if our knee-pans were warming-pans.
Pressing his foot upon it, till the rope hummed like a harp-string, then eagerly bending over it, and seeing no strandings, ahab exclaimed, good
To this part of the yards came all the "tankage" and the waste products of all sorts; here they dried out the bones,--and in suffocating cellars where the daylight never came you might see men and women and children bending over whirling machines and sawing bits of bone into all sorts of shapes, breathing their lungs full of the fine dust, and doomed to die, every one of them, within a certain definite time.
Owing to the peculiar form of the shore on the Kentucky side, the land bending far out into the water, the ice had been lodged and detained in great quantities, and the narrow channel which swept round the bend was full of ice, piled one cake over another, thus forming a temporary barrier to the descending ice, which lodged, and formed a great, undulating raft, filling up the whole river, and extending almost to the Kentucky shore.
He whitened a little; he couldn't help it; and it was mighty still in there, and everybody bending a little forwards and gazing at him.