bent

1 of 3

noun (1)

1
: unenclosed grassland
2
botany
a(1)
: a reedy grass (see grass entry 1 sense 2)
(2)
: a stalk of stiff coarse grass

bent

2 of 3

adjective

1
: changed by bending out of an originally straight or even condition
bent twigs
standing with knees slightly bent
2
: strongly inclined : determined
usually used with on
was bent on going
3
slang
a
: different from the normal or usual
… she was so bent that she's probably a woman who ought to be locked up somewhere …Robert Redford
b
chiefly British : dishonest, corrupt
a bent cop
c
chiefly US : intoxicated, drunk
Like to get bent? This hangover beater will help you get back on track.Vibe

bent

3 of 3

noun (2)

1
a
: a strong inclination or interest : bias
the organization's religious bent
b
: a special inclination or capacity : talent
students with a scientific bent
2
: capacity of endurance
They fool me to the top of my bent.Shakespeare
3
engineering : a transverse framework (as in a bridge) to carry lateral as well as vertical loads
Phrases
bent out of shape
: extremely upset or angry
get bent
slang
used as an angry or contemptuous way of dismissing someone's statement, suggestion, etc.
I try to call him the next morning to apologize, but he tells me to get bent.Chuck Klosterman
Choose the Right Synonym for bent

gift, faculty, aptitude, bent, talent, genius, knack mean a special ability for doing something.

gift often implies special favor by God or nature.

the gift of singing beautifully

faculty applies to an innate or less often acquired ability for a particular accomplishment or function.

a faculty for remembering names

aptitude implies a natural liking for some activity and the likelihood of success in it.

a mechanical aptitude

bent is nearly equal to aptitude but it stresses inclination perhaps more than specific ability.

a family with an artistic bent

talent suggests a marked natural ability that needs to be developed.

has enough talent to succeed

genius suggests impressive inborn creative ability.

has no great genius for poetry

knack implies a comparatively minor but special ability making for ease and dexterity in performance.

the knack of getting along

Example Sentences

Adjective With your knees slightly bent, bend forward and touch your toes. the drug dealer knew which of the cops were bent

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, grassy place, bent grass, from Old English beonot-; akin to Old High German binuz rush

Adjective

Middle English, from past participle of benden to bend

Noun (2)

irregular from bend entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of bent was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near bent

Cite this Entry

“Bent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bent. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

bent

1 of 3 noun

bent

2 of 3 adjective
1
: changed by bending : crooked
a bent pin
2
: strongly favorable to : quite determined
doctors bent on finding a cure

bent

3 of 3 noun
1
: a strong natural liking
2
: a special inclination or capacity : talent

More from Merriam-Webster on bent

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Fashionable Words

  • dog-sunglasses-scarf
  • Which of these items is named for a deadly weapon?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY