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unbend (v.)

mid-13c., "relax a bow by unstringing it," from un- (2) "reverse, opposite of" + bend (v.). Intransitive sense from 1746. Figurative meaning "to become genial, relax" (1748) has a sense opposite to that of unbending "inflexible, obstinate" (1680s), which does not derive from the bow-stringing image.

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Definitions of unbend from WordNet

unbend (v.)
straighten up or out; make straight;
Synonyms: straighten
unbend (v.)
unfasten, as a sail, from a spar or a stay;
unbend (v.)
free from flexure;
unbend a bow
unbend (v.)
make less taut;
Synonyms: relax
unbend (v.)
become less tense, rest, or take one's ease;
Synonyms: relax / loosen up / unwind / decompress / slow down
unbend (v.)
release from mental strain, tension, or formality;
unbend the mind from absorbing too much information
From wordnet.princeton.edu