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dent1

[dent]
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noun
  1. a hollow or depression in a surface, as from a blow.
  2. a noticeable effect, especially of reduction: to leave a dent in one's savings; a dent in one's pride.
verb (used with object)
  1. to make a dent in or on; indent: The impact dented the car's fender.
  2. to have the effect of reducing or slightly injuring: The caustic remark dented his ego.
verb (used without object)
  1. to show dents; become indented: Tin dents more easily than steel.
  2. to sink in, making a dent: Nails dent into metal.
Idioms
  1. 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.
  2. 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

1250–1300; Middle English dente, variant of dint
Related formsun·dent·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for denting

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • These rows may be made by denting the soil with the sharp edge of a stick or ruler.

  • They were sitting on the steps when he finished and his heel was denting the sod.

    In the Heart of a Fool

    William Allen White

  • He perceived that she with effort kept her dimples from denting in.

  • They pressed lovingly, denting the skin, but there was no bite in them.

  • Change a single stream of denting and change it hurriedly, what does it express, it expresses nausea.

    Tender Buttons

    Gertrude Stein


British Dictionary definitions for denting

dent1

noun
  1. a hollow or dip in a surface, as one made by pressure or a blow
  2. an appreciable effect, esp of lesseninga dent in our resources
verb
  1. to impress or be impressed with a dent or dents

Word Origin

C13 (in the sense: a stroke, blow): variant of dint

dent2

noun
  1. a toothlike protuberance, esp the tooth of a sprocket or gearwheel
  2. textiles the space between two wires in a loom through which a warp thread is drawn

Word Origin

C16: from French: tooth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for denting

dent

v.

late 14c., from dent (n.). Related: Dented; denting.

dent

n.

early 14c., "a strike or blow," dialectal variant of Middle English dint (q.v.); sense of "indentation" first recorded 1560s, apparently influenced by indent.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with denting

dent

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.