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hell mend (one)
An exclamation showing one's anger or irritation with someone else. I can't believe he stole my idea—hell mend him!
be on the mend
To be in good health again after a period of injury or illness. Jill is happy to be on the mend after her hospital stay. Yes, I was sick earlier this week, but I'm on the mend now.
mend (one's) fences
To rectify a damaged relationship. After Jill heard that her father had become ill, she decided it was time for them to mend their fences before it was too late. The politician tried to mend his fences with his constituents after the scandal, but was not able to regain their trust before the next election.
make do and mend
To maintain one's possessions for as long as possible, repairing rather than replacing them when needed, with the goal of not buying and/or consuming more than is necessary. To "make do" is to use what one has or make the best of a situation, even if it is not ideal. Growing up, my mother had to provide for three of us on her own, so we learned very quickly to make do and mend.
mend (one's) ways
To start behaving in a different, usually preferable, way. After I got in yet another fight at school, the headmaster told me that I had to mend my ways or else I'd be expelled. No matter how old you are, there is still time to mend your ways.
on the mend
Healing or getting well; improving in health. I broke my arm last month, so I've just been at home on the mend since then. A: "How's John doing?" B: "He had a rough week of it with the flu, but he's on the mend now, thank God."
mend (one's) pace
old-fashioned To begin moving faster, especially to meet the speed of another person. Noticing me behind him, the man mended his pace, and I mended mine, until we both began running through the crowded alleyways.
It is never too late to mend.
Prov. It is never too late to apologize for something you have done or try to repair something you have done wrong. Sue: I still miss Tony, but it's been a year since our big fight and we haven't spoken to each other since. Mother: Well, it's never too late to mend; why don't you call him up and apologize?
1. Lit. to repair fences as part of one's chores. Tom is mending fences today at the south end of the ranch.
2. Fig. to restore good relations (with someone). I think I had better get home and mend my fences. I had an argument with my daughter this morning. Sally called up her uncle to apologize and try to mend fences.
mend one's ways
Fig. to improve one's behavior. John used to be very wild, but he's mended his ways. You'll have to mend your ways if you go out with Mary. She hates people to be late.
on the mend
getting better; becoming healthy again. I cared for my father while he was on the mend. I took a leave of absence from work while I was on the mend.
mend one's fences
Improve poor relations; placate personal, political, or business contacts. For example, The senator always goes home weekends and spends time mending his fences. This metaphoric expression dates from an 1879 speech by Senator John Sherman in Mansfield, Ohio, to which he said he had returned "to look after my fences." Although he may have meant literally to repair the fences around his farm there, media accounts of the speech took him to mean campaigning among his constituents. In succeeding decades the term was applied to nonpolitical affairs as well.
mend one's ways
Improve one's behavior, as in Threatened with suspension, Jerry promised to mend his ways. This expression, transferring a repair of clothes to one of character, was first recorded in 1868, but 150 or so years earlier it had appeared as mend one's manners.
on the mend
Recovering one's health, as in I heard you had the flu, but I'm glad to see you're on the mend. This idiom uses mend in the sense of "repair." [c. 1800]
mend your fences
COMMON If you mend fences or mend your fences, you do something to improve your relationship with someone you have argued with. Yesterday he was publicly criticised for not doing enough to mend fences with his big political rival. He had managed to annoy every member of the family and thought he'd better mend his fences. Note: You can call this process fence-mending. The king is out of the country on a fence-mending mission to the European Community.
mend your ways
COMMON If someone mends their ways, they stop behaving badly or illegally and improve their behaviour. He seemed to accept his sentence meekly, promising to work hard in prison and to mend his ways. When asked if he intended to mend his ways, he told us `I'll try my best.'
mend (your) fencesmake peace with a person.
This expression originated in the late 19th century in the USA, with reference to a member of Congress returning to his home town to keep in touch with the voters and to look after his interests there. Similar notions are conjured up by the saying good fences make good neighbours .
1994 Louis de Bernières Captain Corelli's Mandolin He knew assuredly he should go and mend his fences with the priest.
mend your pacego faster; alter your pace to match another's.
on the mendimproving in health or condition; recovering.
be on the ˈmend(informal, especially British English) be getting better after an illness or injury: Jan’s been very ill, but she’s on the mend now. OPPOSITE: on your/its last legs
make do and ˈmend(especially British English) mend, repair or make things yourself instead of buying new things: We’ve all forgotten now how to make do and mend.
mend (your) ˈfences (with somebody)(British English) find a solution to a disagreement with somebody: Is it too late to mend fences with your brother?
mend your ˈways(British English) improve your behaviour, way of living, etc: If Richard doesn’t mend his ways, they’ll throw him out of college.
To improve poor relations, especially in politics: "Whatever thoughts he may have entertained about mending some fences with [them] were banished" (Conor Cruise O'Brien).
on the mend
Improving, especially in health.
mend one's fences, to
To strengthen one’s position by reestablishing good relations among one’s supporters. The term apparently came from a speech by Sen. John Sherman to his neighbors and friends in 1879 in Mansfield, Ohio, in which he said, “I have come home to look after my fences,” presumably literally meaning the fences around his farm there. (Indeed, mending fences is a major and time-consuming chore for nearly all American farmers.) However, the newspaper reports of the speech interpreted it as a political statement that meant Sherman was really home to campaign among his constituents. The term continued to be used in this way, with repair and mend substituted for look after. In the twentieth century it was broadened to mean placating personal, business, or professional contacts who might have felt neglected or offended and trying to regain their support. Vice President Al Gore used it after his defeat in the 2000 presidential election, saying he planned to mend his fences.
See also: mend