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Bent on

curved; crooked:
a bent bow; a bent stick.
determined; set; resolved (usually followed by on):
to be bent on buying a new car.
Chiefly British Slang.

morally crooked; corrupt.
bent merchandise.

direction taken, as by one’s interests; inclination:
a bent for painting.
capacity of endurance:
to work at the top of one’s bent.
Civil Engineering. a transverse frame, as of a bridge or an aqueduct, designed to support either vertical or horizontal loads.
Archaic. bent state or form; curvature.
not straight; curved
(foll by on) fixed (on a course of action); resolved (to); determined (to)

dishonest; corrupt
(of goods) stolen
crazy; mad
(Brit, offensive) homosexual

personal inclination, propensity, or aptitude
capacity of endurance (esp in the phrase to the top of one’s bent)
(civil engineering) a framework placed across a structure to stiffen it
short for bent grass
a stalk of bent grass
(archaic) any stiff grass or sedge
(Scot & Northern English, dialect) heath or moorland

Intoxicated, either from alcohol or narcotics (1830s+)
Having very little money: I’m not quite broke, but quite bent (1940s+)
Eccentric; odd; cracked, wacky (1940s+)
Homosexual (1930+)
Sexually aberrant; kinky: Charley got bent bad over women. He was kinky when it came to ladies (1930+)
Dishonest; shady; crooked: look a little bent, look like you were up for a little whoremongering and black-marketing and smuggling (1900s+)
Stolen, said esp of a car (1900s+ Underworld)
Angry; upset; bent out of shape (1970s+ Air Force)

Also, bent upon. Determined, resolved, as in Jamie is bent on winning the math prize. This phrase, first recorded in 1762, always uses the past participle of the verb bend in the sense of “tend toward.”


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