In heraldry, a thick diagonal band crossing a shield from upper dexter (left as you look at it) to lower sinister (right). In theory, but never in practice, it occupies a full third of the field. A significantly smaller band is called a bendlet. A bendlet that is cut off at the ends so that it doesn't reach the edge of the shield is called a baton.

When it starts in the upper sinister and goes down to dexter it is called a bend sinister. This is sometimes said to be a mark of illegitimacy, though it is in fact no such thing. A baton sinister is sometimes used for that purpose. By a confusion with the French name barre for a bend, this may also be heard as "bar sinister", presumably because that sounds like bastard, but in English heraldry that term is nonsense, a bar being a horizontal band right across the shield, which can therefore be neither dexter nor sinister.

A field divided in half by a diagonal line is described as 'per bend' or 'party per bend'.

Smaller charges objects described as being bendwise are actually pointing diagonally in the direction of the bend, as for example the spear in Shakespeare's arms. This is in contrast to a group of objects described as in bend, which means they are individually in their normal orientation but strung out diagonally.

A cool technique used by guitarists where they bend a string with their fretting hand as it is being plucked/picked in order to raise the pitch as the note decays.

Here are some tips on how to do this best:

1. Bring your thumb closer to/on the top of the fretboard and bend the string towards your thumb as it is easier to squeeze the string towards you than pull it away and it works either way.
2. There are different levels of bends. For example bending a note one half step would make it sound like the note one fret above it. A whole step would be 2 frets.

In common notation in tablature it is shown as a small arrow going up from the note you're meant to bend.

Bend (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Bended or Bent (#); p. pr. & vb. n. Bending.] [AS. bendan to bend, fr. bend a band, bond, fr. bindan to bind. See Bind, v. t., and cf. 3d & 4th Bend.]


To strain or move out of a straight line; to crook by straining; to make crooked; to curve; to make ready for use by drawing into a curve; as, to bend a bow; to bend the knee.


To turn toward some certain point; to direct; to incline.

"Bend thine ear to supplication."


Towards Coventry bend we our course. Shak.

Bending her eyes . . . upon her parent. Sir W. Scott.


To apply closely or with interest; to direct.

To bend his mind to any public business. Temple.

But when to mischief mortals bend their will. Pope.


To cause to yield; to render submissive; to subdue.

"Except she bend her humor."


5. Naut.

To fasten, as one rope to another, or as a sail to its yard or stay; or as a cable to the ring of an anchor.


To bend the brow, to knit the brow, as in deep thought or in anger; to scowl; to frown.


Syn. -- To lean; stoop; deflect; bow; yield.


© Webster 1913.

Bend, v. i.


To be moved or strained out of a straight line; to crook or be curving; to bow.

The green earth's end Where the bowed welkin slow doth bend. Milton.


To jut over; to overhang.

There is a cliff, whose high and bending head Looks fearfully in the confined deep. Shak.


To be inclined; to be directed.

To whom our vows and wished bend. Milton.


To bow in prayer, or in token of submission.

While each to his great Father bends. Coleridge.


© Webster 1913.

Bend, n. [See Bend, v. t., and cf. Bent, n.]


A turn or deflection from a straight line or from the proper direction or normal position; a curve; a crook; as, a slight bend of the body; a bend in a road.


Turn; purpose; inclination; ends.


Farewell, poor swain; thou art not for my bend. Fletcher.

3. Naut.

A knot by which one rope is fastened to another or to an anchor, spar, or post.


4. Leather Trade

The best quality of sole leather; a butt. See Butt.

5. Mining

Hard, indurated clay; bind.

Bends of a ship, the thickest and strongest planks in her sides, more generally called wales. They have the beams, knees, and foothooks bolted to them. Also, the frames or ribs that form the ship's body from the keel to the top of the sides; as, the midship bend.


© Webster 1913.

Bend, n. [AS. bend. See Band, and cf. the preceding noun.]


A band.



2. [OF. bende, bande, F. bande. See Band.] Her.

One of the honorable ordinaries, containing a third or a fifth part of the field. It crosses the field diagonally from the dexter chief to the sinister base.

Bend sinister Her., an honorable ordinary drawn from the sinister chief to the dexter base.


© Webster 1913.

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