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bend 1

v. bent (bĕnt), bend·ing, bends
v. tr.
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.
v. intr.
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. Nautical
a. A knot that joins a rope to a rope or another object.
b. bends 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 (or 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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

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bend 2

n. Heraldry
A band passing from the upper dexter corner of an escutcheon to the lower sinister corner.

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


A city of central Oregon on the Deschutes River in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Range.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


  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
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Having bends, curves, or angles:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Two figures in dark dresses (they had been light summer dresses when they started out) were standing bending over something.
"Yes, all these things I do, and many stranger still, that all your fairy books can never tell; but now, dear Annie," said the Fairy, bending nearer, "tell me why I found no sunshine on your face; why are these great drops shining on the flowers, and why do you sit alone when BIRD and BEE are calling you to play?"
It was part of my service to live in the very light of her eyes--at one time to be bending over her, so close to her bosom as to tremble at the thought of touching it; at another, to feel her bending over me, bending so close to see what I was about, that her voice sank low when she spoke to me, and her ribbons brushed my cheek in the wind before she could draw them back.
So they set to work in one of the big yellow rooms of the castle and worked for three days and four nights, hammering and twisting and bending and soldering and polishing and pounding at the legs and body and head of the Tin Woodman, until at last he was straightened out into his old form, and his joints worked as well as ever.
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.
After dragging the creature a short distance Tip stood him on his feet, and by first bending the joints of one leg, and then those of the other, at the same time pushing from behind, the boy managed to induce Jack to walk to the bend in the road.
She clutched the matron by the arm, and forcing her into a chair by the bedside, was about to speak, when looking round, she caught sight of the two old women bending forward in the attitude of eager listeners.
"Are you asleep?" he asked, bending down close to look at her.
I picked up the hatchets and swung them by their heads from the sling of my arm; turned Montgomery over; picked up his revolver still loaded in two chambers, and bending down to rummage, found half-a-dozen cartridges in his pocket.
Prince Bagration screwed up his eyes, looked round, and, seeing the cause of the confusion, turned away with indifference, as if to say, "Is it worth while noticing trifles?" He reined in his horse with the case of a skillful rider and, slightly bending over, disengaged his saber which had caught in his cloak.
But the thought never entered his mind of profiting by this accident; he had seen from the manner in which the arm was bent, and from the noise it made in bending, that the bone was fractured, and that the patient must be in great pain; and now he thought of nothing else but of administering relief to the sufferer, however little benevolent the man had shown himself during their short interview.
``You have not allowed for the wind, Hubert,'' said his antagonist, bending his bow, ``or that had been a better shot.''