\ ˈbend How to pronounce bend (audio) \
bent\ ˈbent How to pronounce bend (audio) \; bending

Definition of bend

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to constrain or strain to tension by curving bend a bow
2a : to turn or force from straight or even to curved or angular bend a pipe
b : to force from a proper shape Her bicycle's back wheel got bent in the crash.
c : to force back to an original straight or even condition bend the wire flat
3 : fasten bend a sail to its yard
4a : to cause to turn from a straight course : deflect bend a ray of light with a mirror
b : to guide or turn toward : direct bends his rapid steps in the direction of the headquarters …— O. Henry
c : incline, dispose bending their minds to the Buddhist concept of eternity— Christopher Rand
d : to adapt to one's purpose : distort bend the rules
5 : to direct strenuously or with interest : apply bent himself to the task
6 : to make submissive : subdue refusing to be bent

intransitive verb

1 : to curve out of a straight line or position The road bends to the left. tree limbs bending under the weight of the snow bent down to pick up a piece of paper bending double with pain specifically : to incline the body in token of submission bend to the queen
2 : to apply oneself vigorously bending to their work
3 : incline, tend She bends to the Left politically.
4 : compromise sense 2 refusing to bend under pressure to change bending to the will of wealthy supporters
bend one's ear
: to talk to someone at length
bend over backward or bend over backwards
: to make extreme efforts had to bend over backward to get these tickets


noun (1)

Definition of bend (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the act or process of bending doing knee bends : the state of being bent the graceful bends of Gothic windows
2 : something that is bent: such as
a : a curved part of a path (as of a stream or road) Their house is down the road, just past the bend.
b nautical : wale entry 1 sense 2 usually used in plural
3 bends plural in form but singular or plural in construction : decompression sickness also : intense joint pain occurring as a common manifestation of decompression sickness usually used with the a case of the bends
around the bend
: mad, crazy appears to have gone around the bend


noun (2)

Definition of bend (Entry 3 of 3)

1 heraldry : a diagonal band that runs from the dexter chief (see chief entry 3 sense 1) to the sinister base (see base entry 1 sense 8) on a heraldic shield — compare bend sinister
2 [Middle English, band, from Old English bend fetter — more at band] : a knot by which one rope is fastened to another or to some object

Other Words from bend


bendable \ ˈben-​də-​bəl How to pronounce bend (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for bend

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun (1)

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of bend in a Sentence

Verb bend a wire into a circle bend the cable around a wheel He bent the bow and shot an arrow from it. His glasses got bent when he dropped them. The trees were bending in the wind. The branch will bend before it breaks. She bent down to pick up a piece of paper and then she straightened up again. He bent back to look up at the ceiling. bend to the left and then bend to the right See More

First Known Use of bend


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bend

Verb and Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English bendan; akin to Old English bend fetter — more at band

Noun (2)

Middle English, from Middle French bende, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German binta, bant band — more at band

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Time Traveler for bend

Time Traveler

The first known use of bend was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Bend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for bend


\ ˈbend How to pronounce bend (audio) \
bent\ ˈbent \; bending

Kids Definition of bend

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make, be, or become curved or angular rather than straight or flat Bend the wire into a circle.
2 : to move out of a straight line or position The road bends to the left. Bend over and pick it up.
3 : to not follow or tell exactly bend the rules bend the truth



Kids Definition of bend (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is bent : a curved part of something a bend in the river

Bend geographical name

\ ˈbend How to pronounce Bend (audio) \

Definition of Bend

city on the Deschutes River in central Oregon population 76,639

More from Merriam-Webster on bend

Nglish: Translation of bend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bend for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bend


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