around the bend

[ad_1] verb (used with object), bent or (Archaic) bend·ed; bend·ing.
  1. to force (an object, especially a long or thin one) from a straight form into a curved or angular one, or from a curved or angular form into some different form: to bend an iron rod into a hoop.
  2. to direct or turn in a particular direction: to bend one’s energies to the task.
  3. to cause to submit or yield: to bend someone to one’s will.
  4. to modify or relax (restrictions, regulations, etc.) temporarily or in certain circumstances: to bend the rules.
  5. to incline mentally (usually followed by to or toward): bending his thoughts back toward his childhood.
  6. to pull back the string of (a bow or the like) in preparation for shooting.
  7. Nautical. to fasten.
  8. Archaic. to strain or brace tensely (often followed by up).

verb (used without object), bent or (Archaic) bend·ed; bend·ing.

  1. to become curved, crooked, or bent: a bow that bends easily.
  2. to assume a bent posture; stoop (often followed by over): to bend as one walks; to bend over and pick up something.
  3. to turn or incline in a particular direction; be directed: The road bent toward the south.
  4. to yield or submit; give in.
  5. to bow in submission or reverence: bending to one’s monarch.
  6. to direct one’s energies: We bent to our work as the bell sounded.


  1. the act of bending.
  2. something that bends; curve; crook: a bend in the road; a bend in the curtain rod.
  3. Nautical. any of various loops or knots for joining the ends of two ropes or the like, or for joining the end of a rope or the like to some other object.
  4. bends, Nautical.
    1. thick planking immediately below the waterways of a wooden vessel.
    2. the wales of a vessel.
  5. the bends, aeroembolism(def 2).
  1. around/round the bend, Slang. insane; crazy: These interruptions will send me round the bend!
  2. bend/lean/fall over backward, to exert oneself to the utmost; make a serious effort: They bent over backward to make sure their guests were comfortable.

verb bends, bending or bent

  1. to form or cause to form a curve, as by pushing or pulling
  2. to turn or cause to turn from a particular directionthe road bends left past the church
  3. (intr; often foll by down , etc) to incline the body; stoop; bow
  4. to submit or cause to submitto bend before superior force
  5. (tr) to turn or direct (one’s eyes, steps, attention, etc)
  6. (tr) to concentrate (the mind); apply oneself closely
  7. (tr) nautical to attach or fasten, as a sail to a boom or a line to a cleat
  8. bend over backwards informal to make a special effort, esp in order to pleasehe bends over backwards to accommodate his customers
  9. bend someone’s ear informal to speak at length to an unwilling listener, esp to voice one’s troubles
  10. bend the rules informal to ignore rules or change them to suit one’s own convenience


  1. a curved part, as in a road or river
  2. nautical a knot or eye in a line for joining it to another or to an object
  3. the act or state of bending
  4. round the bend British slang mad; crazy; eccentric


  1. heraldry an ordinary consisting of a diagonal line traversing a shield

Old English bendan “to bend a bow; confine with a string, fetter,” causative of bindan “to bind,” from Proto-Germanic base *band- “string, band” (cf. Old Norse benda “to join, strain, strive, bend”), from PIE root *bhendh- “to bind” (cf. Gothic bindan, Old High German bintan, Sanskrit badhnati “binds,” 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, and bond. Related: Bended; bent; bending.


“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.


“broad diagonal band in a coat-of-arms, etc.,” c.1400, from earlier sense of “thin, flat strap for wrapping round,” from Old English bend “fetter, shackle, chain,” from PIE *bhendh- (see bend (v.)).


  1. To incline the body; stoop.

Around a curve or corner on a road or pathway, as in Peter’s house is just around the bend. Also see around the corner, def. 1.


Also, round the bend. Crazy, insane, as in Throwing out that perfectly good steak? Have you gone round the bend? [Colloquial; early 1900s]

In addition to the idioms beginning with bend

  • bend one’s elbow
  • bend over backwards
  • bend someone’s ear

also see:

  • around the bend
  • crook (bend) one’s elbow
  • on bended knee

Also see underbent.

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