bend
Pronunciation Verb

bend (bends, present participle bending; past and past participle bent)

  1. (transitive) To cause (something) to change its shape into a curve, by physical force, chemical action, or any other means.
    If you bend the pipe too far, it will break.
    Don’t bend your knees.
  2. (intransitive) To become curved.
    Look at the trees bending in the wind.
  3. (transitive) To cause to change direction.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book XI”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      Bend thine ear to supplication.
    • c. 1591–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Third Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene viii]:
      Towards Coventry bend we our course.
    • 1816, [Walter Scott], The Antiquary. [...] In Three Volumes, volume (please specify ), Edinburgh: Printed by James Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, OCLC 226649000 ↗:
  4. (intransitive) To change direction.
    The road bends to the right
  5. (intransitive) To be inclined; to direct itself.
    • 1634, John Milton, “Arcades”, in Poems of Mr. John Milton, […] , London: Printed by Ruth Raworth for Humphrey Moſely,  […], published 1645, OCLC 606951673 ↗:
      to whom our vows and wishes bend
  6. (intransitive, usually, with "down") To stoop.
    He bent down to pick up the pieces.
  7. (intransitive) To bow in prayer, or in token of submission.
    • Each to his great Father bends.
  8. (transitive) To force to submit.
    They bent me to their will.
    • 1611 April (first recorded performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Cymbeline”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene v]:
      Of liegers for her sweet, and which she after
      Except she bend her humour, shall be assured
      To taste of too.
  9. (intransitive) To submit.
    I am bending to my desire to eat junk food.
  10. (transitive) To apply to a task or purpose.
    He bent the company's resources to gaining market share.
    • to bend his mind to any public business
    • 1717, Alexander Pope, “The Rape of the Lock”, in The Works of Mr. Alexander Pope, volume I, London: Printed by W[illiam] Bowyer, for Bernard Lintot, […], OCLC 43265629 ↗, canto III:
      when to mischief mortals bend their will
  11. (intransitive) To apply oneself to a task or purpose.
    He bent to the goal of gaining market share.
  12. (transitive) To adapt or interpret to for a purpose or beneficiary.
  13. (transitive, nautical) To tie, as in securing a line to a cleat; to shackle a chain to an anchor; make fast.
    Bend the sail to the yard.
  14. (transitive, music) To smoothly change the pitch of a note.
    You should bend the G slightly sharp in the next measure.
  15. (intransitive, nautical) To swing the body when rowing.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun

bend (plural bends)

  1. A curve.
    • 1968, Johnny Cash, Folsom Prison Blues
      I hear the train a comin'/It's rolling round the bend
    There's a sharp bend in the road ahead.
  2. Any of the various knots which join the ends of two lines.
  3. (in the plural, medicine, underwater diving, with the) A severe condition caused by excessively quick decompression, causing bubbles of nitrogen to form in the blood; decompression sickness.
    A diver who stays deep for too long must ascend very slowly in order to prevent the bends.
  4. (heraldiccharge) One of the honourable ordinaries formed by two diagonal lines drawn from the dexter chief to the sinister base; it generally occupies a fifth part of the shield if uncharged, but if charged one third.
  5. (obsolete) Turn; purpose; inclination; ends.
    • 1608, John Fletcher, The Faithful Shepherdess, Act 1, Scene 3
      Farewell, poor swain; thou art not for my bend.
  6. In the leather trade, the best quality of sole leather; a butt; sometimes, half a butt cut lengthwise.
  7. (mining) Hard, indurated clay; bind.
  8. (nautical, in the plural) The thickest and strongest planks in a ship's sides, more generally called wales, which have the beams, knees, and futtocks bolted to them.
  9. (nautical, in the plural) The frames or ribs that form the ship's body from the keel to the top of the sides.
    the midship bends
  10. (music) A glissando, or glide between one pitch and another.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Related terms
Bend
Proper noun
  1. A ghost town/and/former railway community in central British Columbia. Named after a 90-degree curve in the railway line.
  2. A census-designated place in Tehama County, California.
  3. An unincorporated community in Maries County, Missouri.
  4. A city/county seat in Deschutes County, Oregon.
  5. An unincorporated community in Meade County, South Dakota.
  6. An unincorporated community in Lampasas County, and.
  7. Surname



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