Etymology
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bent (n.1)
"mental inclination, natural state of the mind as disposed toward something," 1570s, probably from earlier literal sense "condition of being deflected or turned" (1530s), from bent (adj.) "not straight" (q.v.).
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bent (n.2)

"stiff grass," Old English beonet (attested only in place names), from West Germanic *binut- "rush, marsh grass" (source also of Old Saxon binet, Old High German binuz, German Binse "rush, reed"), which is of unknown origin. An obsolete word, but surviving in place names (such as Bentley, from Old English Beonet-leah; and Bentham).

The verdure of the plain lies buried deep
Beneath the dazzling deluge; and the bents,
And coarser grass, upspearing o'er the rest,
Of late unsightly and unseen, now shine
Conspicuous, and, in bright apparel clad
And fledg'd with icy feathers, nod superb.
[Cowper, "The Winter-Morning Walk," from "The Task"]
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bent (adj.)
"not straight, curved like a strung bow," late 14c. (earlier ibent, c. 1300), from past participle of bend (v.). Meaning "turned or inclined in some direction" is from 1530s, probably as a translation of Latin inclinatio. Meaning "directed in a course" is from 1690s.

Used throughout 20c. in various slang and underworld senses: "criminal; illegal; stolen; corrupted; broken; insane; homosexual;" compare slang uses of crooked. Figurative phrase bent out of shape "extremely upset" is 1960s U.S. Air Force and college student slang.
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hell-bent (adj.)
also hellbent, "recklessly determined," 1824, U.S., originally slang, from hell + bent (adj.).
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bandy-legged (adj.)
"having outward-bent or crooked legs," 1680s, a reference to the bandy, the bent stick used in the Irish field game of bandy (n.).
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crooked (adj.)

early 13c., "bent, curved, in a bent shape," past-participle adjective from crook (v.). In the figurative sense of "dishonest, false, treacherous, not straight in conduct" is from c. 1200. Related: Crookedly; crookedness.

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flexure (n.)
1590s, "action of flexing or bending," from Latin flextura, from flectere "to bend" (see flexible). From 1620s as "flexed or bent condition; direction in which something is bent." Picked up in mathematics (1670s), geology (1833).
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retort (n.2)

"vessel with a long neck bent downward, used in chemistry for distilling or effecting decomposition by the aid of heat," c. 1600, from French retorte, from Medieval Latin *retorta "a retort, a vessel with a bent neck," literally "a thing bent or twisted," from past-participle stem of Latin retorquere "turn back, twist back, throw back," from re- "back" (see re-) + torquere "to twist" (from PIE root *terkw- "to twist").

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inflected (adj.)
1640s, "bent, curved," past-participle adjective from inflect (v.). Grammatical sense is from 1775.
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mainsail (n.)

also main-sail, in a square-rigged vessel, the sail bent to the main-yard, mid-15c., see main (adj.) + sail (n.).

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