bend (v.)

Old English bendan "to bend a bow, bring into a curved state; 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."

Meaning "curve or make crooked" (early 14c.) is via the notion of bending a bow to string it. Intransitive sense of "become curved or crooked" is from late 14c., that of "incline, turn from the straight line" is from 1510s. Figurative meaning "bow, be submissive" is from c. 1400. Cognate with band, bind, bond, and Bund. Related: Bended; bent; bending.

bend (n.1)

1590s, "a bending or curving;" c. 1600, "thing of bent shape, part that is bent;" from bend (v.). The earliest sense is "act of drawing a bow" (mid-15c.). Old English bend (n.) meant "bond, chain, fetter; band, ribbon," but it survives only in nautical use in this form, the other senses having gone to band (n.1). The bends "decompression pain" first attested 1894.

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.)). Probably in part also from Old French bende (Modern French bande) and Medieval Latin benda, both from Germanic. Ordinarily running from the right top to the left bottom; the bend sinister runs along the other diagonal.

updated on May 16, 2017

Definitions of bend from WordNet
bend (v.)
form a curve;
The stick does not bend
Synonyms: flex
bend (v.)
change direction;
The road bends
bend (v.)
cause (a plastic object) to assume a crooked or angular form;
bend the rod
Synonyms: flex / deform / twist / turn
bend (v.)
bend one's back forward from the waist on down;
Synonyms: crouch / stoop / bow
bend (v.)
turn from a straight course, fixed direction, or line of interest;
Synonyms: deflect / turn away
bend (v.)
bend a joint;
bend your knees
Synonyms: flex
bend (n.)
a circular segment of a curve;
a bend in the road
Synonyms: crook / twist / turn
bend (n.)
movement that causes the formation of a curve;
Synonyms: bending
bend (n.)
curved segment (of a road or river or railroad track etc.);
Synonyms: curve
bend (n.)
an angular or rounded shape made by folding;
a bend of his elbow
Synonyms: fold / crease / plication / flexure / crimp
bend (n.)
diagonal line traversing a shield from the upper right corner to the lower left;
Synonyms: bend dexter
Bend (n.)
a town in central Oregon at the eastern foot of the Cascade Range;
From, not affiliated with etymonline.