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From Middle English unbenden, equivalent to un- +‎ bend.


  • IPA(key): /ʌnˈbɛnd/
  • (file)
  • (file)
    Rhymes: -ɛnd


unbend (third-person singular simple present unbends, present participle unbending, simple past and past participle unbent or (archaic) unbended)

  1. To remove a bend so as to make, or allow to become, straight.
    to unbend a bow
    • 1982, Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything, page 61:
      He leant tensely against the corridor wall and frowned like a man trying to unbend a corkscrew by telekinesis.
  2. To release (a load) from a strain or from exertion; to set at ease for a time; to relax.
    to unbend the mind from study or care
  3. (nautical) To unfasten sails from the spars or stays to which are attached for use.
  4. To cast loose or untie
    Unbend the rope.
  5. To cease to be bent; to become straight.
  6. To relax in exertion, attention, severity, or the like
  7. (archaic) to enjoy oneself; to become affable and free from formality