American English

Definition of bend verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they bend
    he / she / it bends
    past simple bent
    -ing form bending
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] (especially of someone's body or head) to lean, or make something lean, in a particular direction He bent and kissed her. The doctor told me to avoid bending and stretching. + adv./prep. fields of poppies bending in the wind His dark head bent over her. She bent forward to pick up the newspaper. Slowly bend from the waist and bring your head down to your knees. bend something (+ adv./prep.) He bent his head and kissed her. She was bent over her desk writing a letter.
  2. 2[transitive, intransitive] bend (something) if you bend your arm, leg, etc. or if it bends, you move it so that it is no longer straight Bend your knees, keeping your back straight. Lie flat and let your knees bend.
  3. 3[transitive] bend something to force something that was straight into an angle or a curve Mark the pipe where you want to bend it. The knives were bent out of shape. He bent the wire into the shape of a square.
  4. 4[intransitive, transitive] to change direction to form a curve or an angle; to make something change direction in this way The road bent sharply to the right. bend something Glass and water both bend light.
  5. Idioms
    bend somebody's ear (about something) (informal)
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    to talk to someone a lot about something, especially about a problem that you have
    bend your mind/efforts to something (formal)
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    to think very hard about or put a lot of effort into one particular thing
    bend/lean over backward (to do something)
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    to make a great effort, especially in order to be helpful or fair I've bent over backward to help him.
    bend/stretch the rules
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    to change the rules to suit a particular person or situation
    bend the truth
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    to say something that is not completely true I wasn't exactly lying when I said I hadn't seen her—I was just bending the truth a little.
    on bended knee(s)
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    if you ask for something on bended knee(s), you ask for it in a very anxious and/or humble way I'd go down on bended knee if I thought she'd change her mind.
    Phrasal Verbsbend somebody to something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: bend