BENT. 1. (From "to bend"), primarily the result of bending; hence any inclination from the straight, as in curved objects like a hook or a bow; this survives in the modern phrase "to follow one's own bent," i.e. to pursue a certain course in a direction deviating from the normal, as also in such phrases as Chaucer's "Downward on a hill under a bent," indicating a hollow or declivity in the general configuration of the land. From the bending of a bow comes the idea of tension, as in Hamlet, "they fool me to the top of my bent," i.e. to the utmost of my capacity. 2. (From the O. Eng. beonet, a coarse, rushy grass growing in wet places; cf. the Ger. Binse, a reed), the name ("bent" or "bennet") popularly applied to several kinds of grass and surviving in the form "bent-grass."
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)