Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words


[dent] /dɛnt/
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.
verb (used with object)
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.
verb (used without object)
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
1250-1300; Middle English dente, variant of dint
Related forms
undented, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for denting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For five weeks afterwards the German attack beat against the British front, bending and denting but never breaking it.

    Fields of Victory Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Change a single stream of denting and change it hurriedly, what does it express, it expresses nausea.

    Tender Buttons Gertrude Stein
  • I am rather inclined to think that denting was done when I did my lone-hand portage at Rock Island.

    Down the Columbia Lewis R. Freeman
  • These we made of the proper length by first denting them with sharp-edged stones and then snapping them off.

    With the Indians in the Rockies James Willard Schultz
  • They pressed lovingly, denting the skin, but there was no bite in them.

    Jerry of the Islands Jack London
  • He spread his legs, denting the Aubusson carpet with his boot-heels, and glanced askance at his wife.

    The Fighting Chance Robert W. Chambers
  • You would not get any denting if the cylinder was held and the gun was jerked forcibly out of Oswald's hands.

    Warren Commission (3 of 26): Hearings Vol. III (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • Even as he spoke the large drops fell slowly and heavily, denting the dusty covering of the road.

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

    Aurora the Magnificent Gertrude Hall
British Dictionary definitions for denting


a hollow or dip in a surface, as one made by pressure or a blow
an appreciable effect, esp of lessening: a dent in our resources
to impress or be impressed with a dent or dents
Word Origin
C13 (in the sense: a stroke, blow): variant of dint


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
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for denting



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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with denting


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for dent

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for denting

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for denting