from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. Obsolete To take hold of; seize.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To take hold of, to grasp.
  • v. To take away, carry off.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To seize; to lay hold on; to catch; to get.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To seize; snatch; catch; grasp; take.
  • To take; receive.
  • To throw.
  • To plow up the bottom of (a furrow).
  • n. Grasp.
  • n. Opportunity or occasion seized.
  • n. Preterit and past participle of hend.


Middle English henten, from Old English hentan.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English hentan, of uncertain origin. (Wiktionary)


  • It will tale down everything you hent in North America.

    What is your favorite WSM?

  • So Khalifah hent the five dinars in hand and went away, rejoicing, and gazing and marvelling at the gold and saying, Glory be to God! There is not with the Caliph of

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • I for a long time, but at last I awoke from my heedlessness and, returning to my senses, I found my wealth had become unwealth and my condition ill-conditioned and all I once hent had left my hand.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • So, as soon as light was seen and morn appeared with its shine and sheen, took horse the hosts twain and shouted their slogans amain and bared the brand and hent lance in hand and in ranks took stand.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • So the headsmen put his hand to her back, to take her; but the King cried out at him and cast at him somewhat he hent in hand, which had well-nigh killed him, saying, O dog, how durst thou show ruth to those with whom I am wroth?

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Then he hent in hand two stones and went round about the city, beating his breast with the stones and crying

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • “I was once in debt to the full amount of three hundred thousand gold pieces; 402 and, being distressed thereby, I sold all that was behind me and what was before me and all I hent in hand, but I could collect no more than an hundred thousand dinars” — And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • So saying, he hent in hand a stick 190 and flourishing it thrice in the air, was about to come down with it upon the lame ape, when the creature cried out for mercy and said to him, I conjure thee, by

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • So they hent him by the hand and thrust him out; and I took the lute and sang over again the songs of my own composing which the damsel had sung.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • And whilst each one hent bunch in hand, the gardener brought the wine-service and setting it before them, on a tray of porcelain arabesqued with red gold, recited these two couplets,

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night


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  • "Did not Periander think fit to lie with his wife Melissa after she had already gone hent to heaven?"
    —Djuna Barnes, Nightwood

    past tense and past participle of 'hent' = "take, snatch, carry off". The line is from Bishop Jeremy Taylor, (mis)quoted by the drunken Irish doctor, who by the way would be left out entirely from my director's cut version of Nightwood, reducing it by a third and probably eviscerating it to the point of pointlessness from the author's point of view, but still.

    What Taylor actually said (in his Sermon XVII was: 'If it be otherwise, the man enjoys a wife as Periander did his dead Melissa, by an unnatural union, neither pleasing nor holy, useless to all the purposes of society, and dead to content.'

    Periander, tyrant of Corinth, was accounted one of the Seven Sages, but killed his wife on false suspicion of infidelity, and was rumoured to have made it up to her afterwards in a non-socially-approved way.

    November 21, 2008