bent out of shape

bent out of shape


  • to become angry.
  • get agitated.
  • to take offense.
  • get astonished or shocked.

Examples in Sentences

  1. John’s flight was canceled, and he got bent out of shape.
  2. Jennifer’s mother got bent out of shape after getting home at 2 a.m.
  3. The motorist got all bent out of shape after a motorcyclist dinged his brand-new vehicle.
  4. I encouraged her not to get bent out of shape after learning she wouldn’t be starting for the squad.
  5. Tom got all bent out of shape after realizing his toy was missing.


Unlike other idioms, “bent out of shape” does not have a clear precedent. No one can say when or why this idiom was first used or what it meant. Phrases are often taken more literally when they are first coined than their later uses would imply. Some historical accounts link the original sense of the phrase to drunkenness or drug use. This includes using “bent” instead of “drunk” to describe an individual’s inebriated state. The second one is far more critical. As the years went by, the term became more commonly used to describe an emotional response to a problem. The current form of the idiom emerged in the middle of the 1950s. The phrase can also be found used in a homophobic or anti-gay context.


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