Etymology: Middle English, from Old English bendan; akin to Old English bend fetter — more at band
Date: before 12th century
1. to constrain or strain to tension by curving <bend a bow> 2. a. to turn or force from straight or even to curved or angular b. to force from a proper shape c. to force back to an original straight or even condition 3. fasten <bend a sail to its yard> 4. a. to cause to turn from a straight course ; deflect b. to guide or turn toward ; direct c. incline, dispose d. to adapt to one's purpose ; distort <bend the rules> 5. to direct strenuously or with interest ; apply <bent himself to the task> 6. to make submissive ; subdue intransitive verb 1. to curve out of a straight line or position; specifically to incline the body in token of submission 2. to apply oneself vigorously <bending to their work> 3. incline, tend 4. compromise 2 • bendable adjective II. noun Date: 15th century 1. the act or process of bending ; the state of being bent 2. something that is bent: as a. a curved part of a path (as of a stream or road) b. wale I,2 — usually used in plural 3. plural but singular or plural in construction the painful manifestations (as joint pain) of decompression sickness; also decompression sickness — usually used with the III. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French bende, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German binta, bant band — more at band Date: 15th century 1. a diagonal band that runs from the dexter chief to the sinister base on a heraldic shield — compare bend sinister 2. [Middle English, band, from Old English bend fetter — more at band] a knot by which one rope is fastened to another or to some object
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.