- a hollow or depression in a surface, as from a blow.
- a noticeable effect, especially of reduction: to leave a dent in one's savings; a dent in one's pride.
- to make a dent in or on; indent: The impact dented the car's fender.
- to have the effect of reducing or slightly injuring: The caustic remark dented his ego.
- to show dents; become indented: Tin dents more easily than steel.
- to sink in, making a dent: Nails dent into metal.
- make a dent, Informal. to cause a person to take heed; make an impression: The doctor told him to stop smoking, but it didn't make a dent.
- make a dent in, to show initial progress; pass an initial stage of (work, thought, solving a problem, etc.): I haven't even made a dent in this pile of work.
Origin of dent1
Examples from the Web for dented
On 116th Street, dented low riders slinked by, windows open, music blaring.Real Life Lazarus: When Patients Rise From the Dead
August 21, 2014
Atop her head sat an upturned, dented little metal bucket—recycling turned into millinery.Paris Fashion Week: Redefining Femininity at Comme des Garçons and Rick Owens
September 30, 2012
Most of these characters are, spiritually speaking, kicking a dented can down a dusty road.3 Must-Read Offbeat Novels: ‘A Million Heavens,’ ‘The Investigation,’ ‘Office Girl’
Drew Toal, Kevin Canfield, Daniel Roberts
July 6, 2012
Then there is Southwest Airlines (number three) a case of a well-earned good reputation that has been dented.What to Know About Airline Safety Records
August 24, 2009
The hat was dented, the cape was torn, and there were marks on Mr. Hennessy's face.Mr. Dooley in Peace and in War
Finley Peter Dunne
He took it from her and pointed out where it had been dented by the firing-pin.Hidden Gold
The gent with the dented countenance looks like a Peruvian dog.Frank Merriwell's Triumph
Burt L. Standish
The point of the ruler glanced off the welt of my boot and dented the oil-cloth.Sonia Married
Near-by the sod was dented and torn where the weight had struck.On Your Mark!
Ralph Henry Barbour
- a hollow or dip in a surface, as one made by pressure or a blow
- an appreciable effect, esp of lesseninga dent in our resources
- to impress or be impressed with a dent or dents
- a toothlike protuberance, esp the tooth of a sprocket or gearwheel
- textiles the space between two wires in a loom through which a warp thread is drawn
Word Origin and History for dented
late 14c., from dent (n.). Related: Dented; denting.
early 14c., "a strike or blow," dialectal variant of Middle English dint (q.v.); sense of "indentation" first recorded 1560s, apparently influenced by indent.
Idioms and Phrases with dented
see make a dent in.