by dint of


By means of, as in By dint of hard work he got his degree in three years. The word dint, which survives only in this expression, originally meant “a stroke or blow,” and by the late 1500s signified the force behind such a blow. The current term preserves the implication of vigorous or persistent means.

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