From Middle English unbenden, equivalent to un- + bend.
unbend (third-person singular simple present unbends, present participle unbending, simple past and past participle unbent or (archaic) unbended)
- To remove a bend so as to make, or allow to become, straight
- to unbend a bow
- 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
c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene ii]:
You do unbend your noble strength.
- (nautical) To unfasten sails from the spars or stays to which are attached for use.
- To cast loose or untie
- Unbend the rope.
- To cease to be bent; to become straight.
- To relax in exertion, attention, severity, or the like
- 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot, Chapter VI
- He spent the afternoon shaping a swagger-stick from the branch of jarrah and talking with Miss La Rue, who had sufficiently unbent toward him to notice his existence.
- (archaic) to enjoy oneself; to become affable and free from formality