Main definitions of bend in English

: bend1bend2Bend3



  • 1with object Shape or force (something straight) into a curve or angle.

    ‘the rising wind bent the long grass’
    • ‘I then slip his glasses off before he bends them out of shape like he has before.’
    • ‘By contrast, steaming and bending the same straight grained piece of wood to the desired shape will result in a much stronger part.’
    • ‘When he arrived, he found Lona using a plasma smelter on the alorium plate, bending it into new shapes for reinforcing her armor.’
    • ‘The results from the Africa expedition provided the first confirmation of Einstein's theory that gravity will bend the path of light when it passes near a massive star.’
    • ‘The force of the winds bent their wings, sending them crashing to the ground below.’
    • ‘This material is light, wears well and springs back to shape after being bent.’
    • ‘Shapes were created by bending the hammered bars around angles on the anvil.’
    • ‘I used some of my tools to cut the metal up into the right shapes, bent it around the frame of the fighter, and used a welding laser to melt it together.’
    • ‘Rather than initially bending the bow piece to its final semicircular shape, it is bent initially to a shape that is the long half of an ellipse.’
    • ‘The two ends are bent into a U shape with one end being South and the other North.’
    • ‘I spent nearly an hour trying to true it using the pads in the caliper as a guide and my fingers to bend it back into shape.’
    • ‘Fiberglass is relatively brittle but can be bent around large-diameter curves.’
    • ‘The sheet is enlivened, as a field is when the wind bends grass all in one direction.’
    • ‘Today's accelerators use quadrupole magnets to bend the flight paths of relativistic electrons towards a converging point.’
    • ‘A New Caledonian crow in captivity learned how to bend a piece of straight wire into a hook to probe for food.’
    • ‘His legs were crossed in gentleman's fashion and he continually crinkled the paper, bending it in all shapes possible.’
    • ‘Being the genius that I am, I decided that I would try and bend them back into shape, only to snap the arm completely off.’
    • ‘The spoon had been bent into such a shape that would provide louder clanging, and the pot was misshapen, being dented in many places.’
    • ‘Encourage the stem that will form the new plant to grow straight by gently bending it into an upright position and attaching it to a cane.’
    • ‘This model, which was eight months in the design and making, is made from a single piece of steel that is bent to make the shape of the chair.’
    curve, crook, make crooked, make curved, flex, angle, hook, bow, arc, arch, buckle, warp, contort, distort, deform
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    1. 1.1no object (of something straight) be shaped or forced into a curve or angle.
      ‘the oar bent as Lance heaved angrily at it’
      • ‘It's raining now; I see the leaves on the vines that cover the window bending in the wind.’
      • ‘Post-cyclonic palm trees on either side of the motorway were bent like hunchbacks.’
      • ‘Make sure they are not bent or out of shape, as this will certainly cause reliability and functioning problems.’
      • ‘Quinn had nice writing, it all flowed down almost like cuts yet it managed to curve and bend to create a graffiti style image.’
      • ‘Do not use the needle if the tip is bent, curved or you can see spurs.’
      • ‘A hull plate that has bent into a large curve marks the halfway-back point on the starboard side of the wreck.’
      • ‘Right children now I want you to pretend you're a tree bending in the wind.’
      • ‘And if light paths are not straight but bent, then space is not flat but curved.’
      • ‘One of his gossamer wings had been snapped off and the other was bent at a sharp angle, the many broken nerves causing it to twitch feebly.’
      • ‘It is shaped like a Greek cross with its arms bent at right angles.’
      • ‘A gun is a black object made of plastic and bent at a right angle.’
      • ‘The empty air in front of Daney shimmered slightly and seemed to bend, curve, to allow a human form to take shape.’
      • ‘The trees on both sides of the highway are bent and fallen, all pointing straight east as if in accusation.’
      • ‘The trees bent and curved up around them on both sides, forming a natural cathedral.’
      • ‘They, in turn, caused the trees to bend over the river and form a bridge to a land of peace and safety.’
      • ‘Even the palm trees bend at a picture-postcard angle.’
      • ‘Weights were then progressively added to the weighing boat which caused the petiole to bend, curving upwards.’
      • ‘There's nothing better than a wicked summer storm, when it gets night-time dark at 1 in the afternoon and the trees bend in the wind.’
      • ‘Now was time to use my new toy, the strip heater, since I needed a nice straight line bent at a sharp angle.’
      • ‘Huge cracks blemished the skis, the bindings were grotesquely twisted, and the poles bent at right angles.’
    2. 1.2no object , usually with adverbial of direction (of a road, river, or path) deviate from a straight line in a specified direction; have a sharply curved course.
      ‘the road bent left and then right’
      ‘the river slowly bends around Davenport’
      • ‘Thousands of roads twisted, bent, paralleled, and crossed for miles.’
      • ‘This time, though, we walked in the other direction, and sat on a bench where the river bends dramatically, before finding its way to the Lock.’
      • ‘Taking the back road to the golf club, you can imagine him sweeping round that bend into the tiny road.’
      • ‘Follow the road as it bends round to the right then where the road bends to the left take the footpath straight on.’
      • ‘The river bends inwards away from here, and they could have lit a fire and camped with their tents against the cliffs for protection against the winds.’
      • ‘The path joins a clear track after a while, which you follow for a short distance then where this track bends away to the left continue straight on alongside the perimeter fence.’
      • ‘Soon the track bends to the right as you pass open moorland.’
      • ‘The track bends sharp left over a stream and at this point leave it via the stile facing you on the far side of the bend.’
      • ‘The track bends round to a junction with a yellow waymarker on the left.’
      • ‘Another descent path is reached on the left which bends down to the old road.’
      • ‘Follow this road heading out of the village, over a bridge across the Leeds and Liverpool Canal then follow the road bending round to the right.’
      • ‘If my memory is accurate, we will follow this river as it bends around a corner, and continue along it until it leads to the high meadow where we established our Base Camp.’
      • ‘Every scene looks as though it is a beautiful painting of a clean and fresh outdoor scene - the river bends at just the right spot, the sun glints off of the water at just the right angle.’
      • ‘I have to turn the steering wheel fast as we are moving so quickly I cant make out how the road will bend next.’
      • ‘At the end of the straight section, the road bends to the right and appears to go down slightly.’
      • ‘At the covered shelter, which gives the impression that the forest floor is growing above your head, the path bends to the left.’
      • ‘But then the path would bend, and there it would be again, closer.’
      • ‘The road bends sharply to the left and crosses a bridge.’
      • ‘There is where the road bends upward and where some domestic goats once got loose and established a wild herd on a rocky ledge.’
      • ‘The road bends as it crosses the bridge, and residents say a high hedge makes visibility particularly poor.’
      turn, curve, incline, swing, veer, swerve, deviate, diverge, fork, change course
      View synonyms
  • 2no object (of a person) incline the body downward from the vertical.

    ‘I bent over my plate’
    ‘he bent down and picked her up’
    with infinitive ‘he bent to tie his shoelaces’
    • ‘Scott bent down over the bed and kissed his grandfather's forehead.’
    • ‘Jenny bent down to grind out her cigarette stub in the lank grass and then tossed it with a stone-skipping twist of her white wrist into the tangled shrubbery.’
    • ‘Jason bent over and kissed her on the temple of her forehead.’
    • ‘When he came to, he was lying partially undressed on a bed while the staff member bent over him.’
    • ‘Roger bent down next to a young blonde girl's body and checked her pulse.’
    • ‘Heaving a sigh, Josh bent over her still laughing body and kissed her on the forehead.’
    • ‘As we watched, the young man bent down and introduced himself.’
    • ‘Sara bent over her friend, her face twisted by grief and rage.’
    • ‘And then, before I knew it, he had bent down and softly kissed my lips.’
    • ‘Evelyn bent down in front of him and sighed, ‘You really should know when to stop.’’
    • ‘Billy bent over and threw the whiskey to the men in the canoes.’
    • ‘Her parents bent down and kissed her goodnight then did the same to their other five daughters.’
    • ‘Anna bent down and picked him up tucking him under her left arm.’
    • ‘Not letting her daughter say another word, the Queen bent down over the little girl and gracefully yet sternly took the stone from her hands.’
    • ‘Dave bent down and pushed aside a few scattered newspapers, plucking out a pile of maps that were still on the fallen display case.’
    • ‘Michael bent down, kissed Alice on the cheek, turned to Alex and gave her a peck on the cheek.’
    • ‘Emily bent down and slid the piece of paper under the door.’
    • ‘With a laugh and a burst of affection, Brian bent down to kiss her.’
    • ‘She had bent down to help a little black boy tie his shoes.’
    • ‘Jessie bent down a bit to look at what appeared to be flowers.’
    stoop, bow, crouch, squat, kneel, hunch
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    1. 2.1with object Move (a jointed part of the body) to an angled position.
      ‘extend your left leg and bend your right’
      ‘Irene bent her head over her work’
      • ‘Pressing your weight through that foot to lift your body, bend your left leg and bring it forward next to your right leg.’
      • ‘He just stood there for a while, and then bent his massive body over to get the bill when he thought no one was looking.’
      • ‘I tried to appear more casual and passive, shifting my body weight to one leg and bending my opposite leg at the knee a bit.’
      • ‘It's that love that keeps the dancer working to bend the body toward perfection and at the same time recognizing the impossibility of achieving it.’
      • ‘Stand up straight, bend your left knee, and lean forward until you can touch the floor with both hands.’
      • ‘Keep the shoulders in a steady, stable position and don't allow them to move as you bend your elbows.’
      • ‘Exasperated, Ted bent his upper body onto the table so that he was at eye level with Jacob.’
      • ‘I took my position once again, bending my knees low, bringing my arms up, keeping my hands steady, and shot the ball.’
      • ‘I didn't exactly sit up, but more bent my body in half and slumped against the wall.’
      • ‘She positioned her hand and bent her wrist slightly, aiming her fingers down.’
      • ‘I am unable to sit, hold anything firmly or bend my hands and legs, body.’
      • ‘I placed my hands on my hips and started bending my knees, moving down.’
      • ‘Standing with your back against a wall, feet stance-width apart and a foot from the wall, lower yourself toward a sitting position by bending your knees.’
      • ‘Bounce on both legs, straighten your knees, twist and bend your upper body forward, and pull straight down with both hands.’
      • ‘Reinforce the action by bending the upper body forward with your left arm.’
      • ‘He bent his body, so he could put his hands into the water.’
      • ‘He gave a shuddering sigh, and bent his body into a fetal position.’
      • ‘She bent her body and laid herself on her side above Archie's paper.’
      • ‘With your upper arms locked in position, bend your elbows to bring the bar toward your forehead.’
      • ‘Remember to keep your abs tight, hold your low back in a slight arch and bend your body from the hips.’
  • 3Force or be forced to submit.

    with object ‘they want to bend me to their will’
    no object ‘a refusal to bend to mob rule’
    • ‘He can force ministers and virtually anyone to bend to his will, and if they are recalcitrant he could call their bluff and take the case to the people.’
    • ‘Each of the smaller stories is as interesting as the main story, especially the one focused on Erik and his refusal to bend to the will of the Danish overseers.’
    • ‘The company has refused to bend to their pay demands stressing the ‘fair’ offer they believe they have made.’
    • ‘If he was not prepared to bend to his wife's wishes on this, will he acquiesce to any pleas for extra cash in the future?’
    • ‘The moral, social, political, and legal order must bend to the individual definition of truth, no matter how willful or arbitrary.’
    • ‘He isn't happy about being forced to bend to my will, but he seems to enjoy the juice anyway.’
    • ‘In social circles, we joke about being Aesthetes of Style, but realize that we have to bend to client's wishes to survive in the marketplace.’
    • ‘If anything, his critics claim he has been far too willing to bend to the will of Westminster.’
    • ‘Would they bend to her willful forces and persuasion?’
    • ‘I also wouldn't kidnap her against her will and force her to bend to my will.’
    • ‘What is to stop him from forcing us all to bend to his might?’
    • ‘And by tradition, the chief may often be compelled to bend to such wishes.’
    • ‘An effective law reflects the will of the society; society does not, outside of a police state, easily bend to the will of the law.’
    • ‘It may make the people outside who organized the boycotts very happy because they made a few corporations bend to their wills and therefore show that they have power and influence.’
    • ‘You think that since you have money and power you can force others to bend to your will.’
    • ‘Beneath the rhetoric is the obvious: they simply want the American university to bend to their agenda.’
    • ‘Roxanne tells him that he is now her servant, and must bend to her will.’
    • ‘Her beauty, intelligence, and talent made her well-respected in her tribe, and made her father likely to bend to her will.’
    • ‘The band are waiting to see if their original indie label will bend to their wishes and release the single next year.’
    • ‘The Chancellor promised to listen but, crucially, not to bend to such protests.’
    mould, shape, manipulate, direct, force, press, influence, incline, sway, bias, warp, impress, compel, persuade
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1with object Interpret or modify (a rule) to suit oneself or somebody else.
      ‘we cannot bend the rules, even for Darren’
      • ‘He hasn't just bent the rules in his stupidity but gloated as to the outcome which goes against all common principles of acceptable sportsmanship.’
      • ‘They're under the impression that throwing more money at the problem, and trying to bend the laws to suit their needs, will keep them afloat.’
      • ‘But though the evidence now is all but conclusive, one cannot help but wonder whether the pressure to obtain a conviction caused an officer of the law to bend the rules that many years ago.’
      • ‘Some 60 per cent agreed bending the rules is ‘part of the fun of playing games’.’
      • ‘In this epoch of lawlessness, all warring nations have bent the law to suit their interests sometime or another.’
      • ‘He feels safe doing so because he knows that while he might have bent some rules, he never broke them.’
      • ‘One corporate detective says most of the big firms stay well within the law but there are a host of smaller one-man bands who will bend the rules.’
      • ‘You bent the rules, even if you didn't actually break them.’
      • ‘In his eyes, he did not fail; he was conspired against and was therefore entitled to compensate for his disadvantage by bending the rules.’
      • ‘So to accommodate the applicant he bends the rules.’
      • ‘We all bend the rules sometimes at work, which is what I've done.’
      • ‘Crimes such as taking something from the office or asking a friend to bend the rules might involve only minor damage, but set up a vicious cycle.’
      • ‘Indeed, the tabloid press last week bent the rules still further.’
      • ‘That makes bending the rules attractive to many farmers, who are expected to wear most of the costs of conservation on their own.’
      • ‘These people… In their desire to get a majority, the rules are bent, the laws broken, institutions are destroyed.’
      • ‘But he told the congregation, which included the Lord Chancellor, that it did not mean bending the rule of law.’
      • ‘If rules are set then follow them, places that have designated smoking areas are already one step closer to a complete ban and by bending the rules you are not helping yourself or fellow smokers.’
      • ‘Playing the game fairly means not bending the rules because you feel sorry for someone or cheating because you think your opponent doesn't deserve to win.’
      • ‘We were caught by matron but she bent the rules a lot over Christmas and turned a blind eye.’
      • ‘In every walk of life, on the roads, in restaurants, in tax avoidance, rules and regulations are routinely bent.’
  • 4with object Direct or devote (one's attention or energies) to a task.

    ‘Eric bent all his efforts to persuading them to donate some blankets’
    no object ‘she bent once more to the task of diverting the wedding guests’
    • ‘With characteristic energy he bent his efforts to the immediate development and improvement of the land, which he converted into a fine farm that he cultivated throughout his remaining days.’
    • ‘She was far more interested in the spiritual welfare of her children than in any material gain, and she bent her efforts to that end.’
    • ‘James being freed by the peace from all other cares, bent his attention to the conclusion of a matrimonial alliance, which he had during the last year been attempting.’
    • ‘Seeing that there would be no reasoning with the princess for the rest of the day, he bent his mind to the task of keeping power flowing into Mara.’
    • ‘Having succeeded so far the witness bent his attention to the office, when he found that a chest of drawers had been pillaged, and part of the contents packed up in a bundle that lay under the window looking into the street.’
    • ‘All energies will now be bent to the task of reintegration and reconciliation.’
    • ‘He bent his thoughts to see if he could pick up on Chanet's thoughts.’
    • ‘The men’s backs are turned to the wave, and bent to the task of rowing.’
    • ‘They are ready to bend their skills and energy to every table, every serving; you will be waited on as you have never been waited on before.’
    • ‘Again Alex berated herself for wool gathering, and bent back to the task at hand.’
    • ‘For several years he bent his efforts to the building of a railroad through the County.’
    • ‘When his choice was made he bent his attention to the table.’
    • ‘For these reasons, he bent his efforts to implement a plan to transform music into a well-loved and respected art.’
    • ‘Now they are bent to the task of creating the first Nigerian pages on the university's Web server.’
    • ‘Simple experiments prove, however, that when those energies are bent to the wrong ends, there is severe backlash.’
    • ‘He now bent all his efforts to carry into execution a project designed for the sons of the wealthy planters of Louisiana, with whom he was an unbounded favourite.’
    • ‘Shrugging, he found more food then bent to the task of bailing out the boat, groaning as he began.’
    • ‘With a mental shrug he bent his thoughts to the serious changes lying ahead.’
    • ‘Then shaking his shoulders he bent his attention to the old man in the shadow of the chair.’
    • ‘Instead, he bent all his efforts toward becoming a fighting soldier, and succeeded.’
    direct, point, aim, turn, train, steer, set
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  • 5Nautical
    with object Attach (a sail or rope) by means of a knot.

    ‘sailors were bending sails to the spars’
    • ‘Saturday, Dave and I finished rigging the boat, raised the mast and bent the sails on.’
    • ‘With this view we got on board the observatories, the Instruments and bent the sails.’
    • ‘At daylight the next morning some of the men bent the sails and rove the rigging of the privateer, while the others were cutting a good load of wood to ballast her.’
    • ‘The main mast top mast was bent to the deck with cordage and sail draping across to starboard.’
    • ‘That evening we selected a vessel, whose size just seemed fitted for our enterprise; we bent the sails and put the rigging in order.’


  • 1A curve, especially a sharp one, in a road, river, racecourse, or path.

    • ‘He lifted his arm in a farewell as he rounded the bend in the road.’
    • ‘We rounded the bend of the road that would put us in view of the forest, and within in our line of sight was smoke.’
    • ‘As they rounded the bend on the road near the tennis court at Brookhill a man known to both of them appeared suddenly in the headlights only a few feet away.’
    • ‘As she rounds a bend in the path, she stops suddenly, taken aback by the view of a cascade of clear, blue water tumbling from atop a small cliff.’
    • ‘Rounding a bend in the road, she pulled up sharply to park, and stepped out, walking quickly towards the pharmacy.’
    • ‘I wasn't going too fast but probably faster than conditions warrant, for you never really know what's round the next bend in the road.’
    • ‘So we finished our trip having traversed the distance along the mountain side, by rail or road, the river echoing the bends and curves with a constant murmur that kept us company.’
    • ‘My father did not turn again as the car drove quickly off up the hill and disappeared round a bend in the road.’
    • ‘About half-way back to Boston I slowed down even further to go round a blind bend in the road, to come upon a police car and a mobile speed camera.’
    • ‘They rounded a bend in the path and could now see a river up ahead.’
    • ‘She rounded the bend into the quiet road where the hotel was.’
    • ‘A key feature of the work will involve putting actual bends back into the river, which many years ago was previously straightened.’
    • ‘We rounded a bend in the road and saw our first big trees: cinnamon columns behind a scrim of falling snow.’
    • ‘I rounded a bend in the road later, and nearly fell over myself when I saw who waited for me, sitting primly on a rock on the roadside.’
    • ‘They chatted until they rounded a bend in the road and both of them fell silent.’
    • ‘One day we came round a bend in the river and saw a big boat with a strange flag.’
    • ‘As he rounded a bend on a winding road, three slabs fell off.’
    • ‘We rounded the bend in the road right before our neighborhood.’
    • ‘As she rounded the bend in the path, she saw a man standing in the middle of the clearing.’
    • ‘Leaping over a fallen branch, Kina flew past the large river and rounded a bend in the trail.’
    curve, turn, corner, kink, angle, arc, crescent, twist, crook, deviation, deflection, loop
    View synonyms
  • 2A curved or angled part or form of something.

    ‘making a bend in the wire’
    • ‘Just look at the bend in the rod.’
    • ‘It's completely ruined now, there's a bend in it that won't come out.’
    • ‘Wire mesh lends itself to gentle curves and sharp bends, so you can use it to construct fences in any configuration you like.’
    • ‘He made a bend in a steel rod by heating it and fixed it to make short strokes.’
    • ‘Danny wanted to get a double header and kept his bait in the water, but then turned and saw the bend in the rod and quickly picked up his bait and climbed to the helm.’
    • ‘All that is left to do is make a bend in the wire, slightly below the tubing to make a lever for attaching a spring or switch machine.’
    • ‘To install the first hoop make a bend in a piece of wire about a 1/4" from the end.’
    • ‘Trusting to instinct she held the bar steady and peered ahead, not daring to look at the bend in the wing as it took the added strain.’
    • ‘Furthermore, although the line is a circle, there are bends in either direction throughout its course so the underlying assumption is clearly wrong.’
    • ‘There's a bend in the right frame rail near the front, and the lunette is a bit bent.’
    • ‘This is really the best way of cleaning the tube as sometimes there's a bend in the tube, thus it cannot. be cleaned out using a wire.’
    • ‘Hold the fold and squeeze it for a few seconds to make a bend in the neck.’
    • ‘We saw the bend in the rod and Chris commented that this was a much heavier fish.’
    • ‘The chimney has to be opened at frequent intervals to insert the liners, essential if there are bends in the flue.’
    • ‘Where there are bends in the ductwork an explosion vent of the appropriate size should be positioned on the bend.’
    • ‘When there are many bends in the air path, ventilation resistance will increase.’
    • ‘In the 70°C samples, semicircles and sinusoidal bends are observed.’
    • ‘First hold both ends of the wire together and make a bend in the middle.’
    • ‘There are bends in some polymers and some are interacting with each other.’
    • ‘Sometimes there's a bend in the tape at the end, and there may even be a crease.’
  • 3A kind of knot used to join two ropes, or to tie a rope to another object, e.g. a carrick bend.

    • ‘Even so it is a very secure bend and can put up with a good deal of strain and movement. It can also be used to tie a bend with thin line.’
    • ‘The sheet bend, and in some cases the fisherman's knot, are simple binding knots that can replace the reef knot.’
    • ‘But then I tied a Hunter's Bend and another similar knot, comparing it to the pictures.’
    • ‘The most important use for the Carrick bend which comes to my mind is the is the joining of two towing lines or anchor cables.’
    • ‘In addition, Seamen must know which knot, bend, or hitch will serve best in a particular circumstance.’
  • 4the bendsDecompression sickness, especially in divers.

    • ‘In the bends, the air embolism is a bubble of nitrogen.’
    • ‘The bends, or decompression sickness, occurs as that dissolved nitrogen comes back out of solution as a diver surfaces.’
    • ‘Offers included turning one into a restaurant and another into a hyperbaric chamber - to help scuba divers suffering from the bends.’
    • ‘So, that's why the free divers can get away without getting the bends.’
    • ‘The navy had an emergency decompression chamber on stand by in case one of the divers suffered the bends.’
    • ‘The pressure-drops through the engine are minimal, which means the fish avoid decompression sickness, or the bends, as they pass through the machine.’
    • ‘There are cases of divers getting the bends as they returned through the Alps after diving the Mediterranean.’
    • ‘And then you're in the same problem that divers have when they come up from a great depth, the problem of nitrogen bends, decompression sickness.’
    • ‘Often called the bends, decompression sickness causes nitrogen bubbles in the tissues of a diver's body when he attempts to surface too rapidly.’
    • ‘After a quiet Saturday, the squadron's helicopter was in the air again on Sunday lunchtime to assist a civilian diver suffering symptoms of the bends off the coast.’
    • ‘A diver was treated in the decompression chamber after surfacing on Sunday afternoon with symptoms of the bends.’
    • ‘In humans, this is known as decompression sickness, or the bends.’
    • ‘The diver said they were waiting at a depth of five metres in order to avoid decompression sickness - known as the bends - when he noticed something wrong.’
    • ‘The disease suffered by divers known as the bends (decompression sickness) is an example of the same phenomenon.’
    • ‘The number of divers suffering the bends in Scapa Flow is five times higher than the global average, it was revealed this week.’
    • ‘The woman reported symptoms of decompression sickness, or the bends, and was immediately put on oxygen as their boat headed back to the harbour.’


  • bend someone's ear

    • informal Talk to someone, especially with great eagerness or in order to ask a favor.

      ‘she regularly bent Michael's ear with her problems’
      • ‘In the following highlights of the day's activities, managers and employees had an opportunity to bend the boss 's ear - and some did.’
      • ‘Of course I'll want to bend his ear over my pet topics.’
      • ‘I managed to collar him and bent his ear about the American situation.’
      • ‘Mother was on at me for ages to make her a webpage, and one night she had a couple of glasses of wine and completely bent my ear about the subject.’
      • ‘A few weeks prior to our meeting I spotted him at a launch party at Downing Street bending the Prime Minister's ear.’
      • ‘I've just had Mr Brisedale bending my ear for ten minutes about the quality of my warehouse staff.’
      • ‘Once the artists have bent your ear, you'll want to take to the streets to tour the city's galleries and put your newfound perspectives to the test.’
      • ‘I think I've bent your ear enough for today and I have to be at work in an hour.’
      • ‘Even rational, thinking people are bending my ear over this issue, which is threatening to spill out of control.’
      • ‘Can I bend your ear for a minute about a veterans' issue?’
  • bend one's elbow

    • Drink alcohol.

      ‘it didn't take long before we were all bending our elbows at the bar’
      • ‘For the next thirty minutes Darren bent his elbow with the fluency of a gypsy fiddler while the others admired his “strong” drinking.’
      • ‘Since Hemingway bent his elbow here, the bar has become de rigueur.’
      • ‘He sat at the bar bending his elbow until the place closed at one o'clock.’
      • ‘Sometimes he bent his elbow in the company of other convivial fellows, and drank toasts which he would not have liked his wife and daughters to hear.’
      • ‘He was jovial, and bent his elbow frequently.’
  • on bended knee(s)

    • Kneeling, especially when pleading or showing great respect.

      ‘did he propose on bended knee?’
      • ‘Before the start of the race yesterday afternoon he went down on bended knee and - witnessed by hundreds of punters - asked Wendy to spend the rest of her life with him.’
      • ‘After asking her father Graham's permission, he got down on bended knee at the top of the Eiffel Tower and presented her with a diamond engagement ring.’
      • ‘I begged him on bended knee to give me a job, although he kept saying he couldn't afford to employ anyone.’
      • ‘Those responsible should be begging for forgiveness on bended knees instead of behaving in this way.’
    • see knee
      • ‘Being the gentleman he is Tom even went down on bended knee to propose to his bride-to-be.’
      • ‘Whether Galileo was actually tortured or merely threatened with torture by the Inquisition is still a matter of conjecture but the fact remains that he was forced to recant his scientific findings on bended knee.’
      • ‘The 60-year-old singer got down on bended knee, popped the question and produced a diamond engagement ring at the Eiffel Tower during a romantic break in Paris.’
      • ‘For now I'm going to get a nice light dinner on the table, open a bottle of wine and spend the rest of the evening with Mark. 16 years ago today he got down on bended knee and asked me to marry him.’
      • ‘I've known him for two and a half years and he proposed to me on bended knee, at his mother's house.’
      • ‘‘I begged him on bended knee to give me a job, although he kept saying he couldn't afford to employ anyone,’ she recalls.’
      • ‘Don't vary the amount or be tempted to give advances even if they come to you on bended knees.’
      • ‘He said he would ask council on bended knee to delay the move until a permanent site could be found.’
      • ‘They had screamed for mercy on bended knees but to no avail.’
      • ‘Those responsible should be begging for forgiveness on bended knees instead of behaving in this way.’
      • ‘I wish my future fiance would propose to me on bended knee, in a location that's special to both of us, preferably with us both dressed up.’
      • ‘MPs have to swear allegiance to the Queen before they can take their seats, while those joining the privy council - a requirement for all cabinet ministers - have to do so in person, on bended knee, before the Queen herself.’
      • ‘He is one through whom the King of heaven makes his plea and implores on bended knee, with all his soul, that you be reconciled to this great King.’
      • ‘During plague, drought and famine, he will appear before her throne on bended knee and plead for her forgiveness.’
      • ‘Tom, a photographer and residential developer, made the proposal on bended knee in the sand at sunset with turquoise waters lapping the beach.’
      • ‘‘I want you all to know that the nation this day is on bended knee in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, the workers who work here, for the families,’ he said.’
      • ‘Going to the U.N. on bended knee to get official U.N. sanction and peacekeeping support is one answer.’
      • ‘It was in the year of forty three when George and Elizabeth took their vows on bended knees.’
      • ‘Before the start of the race yesterday afternoon he went down on bended knee and - witnessed by hundreds of punters - asked Wendy to spend the rest of her life with him.’
      • ‘After asking her father's permission, he got down on bended knee at the top of the Eiffel Tower and presented her with a diamond engagement ring.’
  • around the bend

    • Crazy; insane.

      ‘I'd tell you if you were going around the bend’
  • bend over backward


Old English bendan ‘put in bonds, tension a bow by means of a string’, of Germanic origin; related to band.




Main definitions of bend in English

: bend1bend2Bend3



  • An ordinary in the form of a broad diagonal stripe from top left (dexter chief) to bottom right (sinister base) of a shield or part of one.

    • ‘Something bothersome about this particular image is the way in which the bend alternates direction to become a bend sinister.’
    • ‘For example a single charge all alone on a shield is assumed to be in the center. If there is a Bend on the shield, however, it would need to be noted whether the charge appeared on the Bend itself, in the upper portion, or the lower portion.’
    • ‘The three wavy bends on the shield are the three main rivers in the district.’
    • ‘Its own name is of heraldic origin and refers to the three roses in a bend on the shield of the counts of Wasserburg.’
    • ‘This device of a fountain appears in the arms of the family, where six wells, which form the source of the River Stour appear with a bend on the shield.’


Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French bande, Old French bende ‘flat strip’.




Main definitions of bend in English

: bend1bend2Bend3


proper noun

  • A city in central Oregon; population 77,181 (est. 2008)