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

  • adj. Not yielding; inflexible: an unbending will to dominate.
  • adj. Aloof and often antisocial; extremely reserved: an unbending manner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. inflexible and not yielding
  • adj. very reserved, aloof and antisocial
  • v. Present participle of unbend.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not bending; not suffering flexure; not yielding to pressure; stiff; -- applied to material things.
  • adj. Unyielding in will; not subject to persuasion or influence; inflexible; resolute; -- applied to persons.
  • adj. Unyielding in nature; unchangeable; fixed; -- applied to abstract ideas.
  • adj. Devoted to relaxation or amusement.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not suffering flexure; not bending.
  • Unyielding; inflexible; firm.
  • Given up to relaxation or amusement.
  • n. A relaxing; remission from a strain; temporary ease.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. incapable of adapting or changing to meet circumstances


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Constance had been wondering how she could inform Tony that his aunt and sister had arrived, without unbending from the dignified silence of the past three days.

    Jerry Junior

  • But the Alexandrine, by its pause in the midst, is a tardy and stately measure; and the word unbending, one of the most sluggish and slow which our language affords, cannot much accelerate its motion.

    The Rambler, sections 55-112 (1750-1751); from The Works of Samuel Johnson in Sixteen Volumes, Vol. IV

  • At various times Lady Huntingdon expressed her religious experience in verse, and the manful vigor of her school of faith recalls the unbending confidence of Job, for she was not a stranger to affliction.

    The Story of the Hymns and Tunes

  • Strict, kind of unbending fundamentalist religions is the way they were both brought up.

    Nixon's Failed Attempts At 'Poisoning The Press'

  • Tensions had escalated after an "unbending" Gqozo had refused to allow the marchers into Bisho and the ANC had insisted that they be allowed to continue the march.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Essie Tisdale had no notion that Van Lennop had overheard her quarrel with the Frenchman, but her quick perceptions recognized an added friendliness in his manner -- a kind of unbending gentleness which was new -- and she needed it for she daily felt the growing lack of it in people whom she had called her friends.

    The Lady Doc

  • Symes moved among his satellites with that benign unbending which is a recognized attribute of the truly great.

    The Lady Doc

  • The process of "unbending" was being performed in the summer-house, whither he had retired after Evelyn and Ralph had started on their afternoon's ride to Vandon, in which he had refused to join.

    The Danvers Jewels, and Sir Charles Danvers

  • If the principal, instead of being a public man, is a man of science, this kind of unbending becomes certainly not the less welcome to him.

    Thoughts on Man: His Nature, Productions, and Discoveries

  • The disadvantage is that if taken too far this kind of unbending hubris is a one-way ticket to failure.

    How To Split An Atom


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Also, when you bend a straight line, you get an L. When you unbend it, you are again bending it.

    February 1, 2007

  • Contronymic in the sense: unyielding vs. remove a bend.

    January 31, 2007