bent 1 of 3

chiefly British


2 of 3



3 of 3


past tense of bend

Synonym Chooser

How does the noun bent differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of bent are aptitude, faculty, genius, gift, knack, and talent. While all these words mean "a special ability for doing something," bent is nearly equal to aptitude but it stresses inclination perhaps more than specific ability.

a family with an artistic bent

When would aptitude be a good substitute for bent?

While the synonyms aptitude and bent are close in meaning, aptitude implies a natural liking for some activity and the likelihood of success in it.

a mechanical aptitude

When is faculty a more appropriate choice than bent?

The synonyms faculty and bent are sometimes interchangeable, but faculty applies to an innate or less often acquired ability for a particular accomplishment or function.

a faculty for remembering names

In what contexts can genius take the place of bent?

Although the words genius and bent have much in common, genius suggests impressive inborn creative ability.

has no great genius for poetry

When might gift be a better fit than bent?

The words gift and bent are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, gift often implies special favor by God or nature.

the gift of singing beautifully

Where would knack be a reasonable alternative to bent?

In some situations, the words knack and bent are roughly equivalent. However, knack implies a comparatively minor but special ability making for ease and dexterity in performance.

the knack of getting along

When is it sensible to use talent instead of bent?

The meanings of talent and bent largely overlap; however, talent suggests a marked natural ability that needs to be developed.

has enough talent to succeed

Thesaurus Entries Near bent

Cite this Entry

“Bent.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on bent

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