- bend (n.1)
- "a bending or curving," 1590s; "thing of bent shape," c. 1600, from bend (v.). Earlier "act of drawing a bow" (mid-15c.). The bends "decompression pain" first attested 1894.
- bend (v.)
- Old English bendan "to bend a bow; confine with a string, fetter," causative of bindan "to bind," from Proto-Germanic base *band- "string, band" (source also of Old Norse benda "to join, strain, strive, bend"), from PIE root *bhendh- "to bind" (source also of Gothic bindan, Old High German bintan, Sanskrit badhnati "binds;" Gothic bandi "that which binds;" Sanskrit bandhah "a tying, bandage;" Middle Irish bainna "bracelet;" Lithuanian bendras "partner;" Old Persian bandaka- "subject").
Modern sense (early 14c.) is via notion of bending a bow to string it. Cognate with band, bind, bond, and Bund. Related: Bended; bent; bending.
- bend (n.2)
- "broad diagonal band in a coat-of-arms, etc.," mid-14c., from earlier sense of "thin, flat strap for wrapping round," from Old English bend "fetter, shackle, chain," from PIE *bhendh- "to bind" (see bend (v.)).