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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Origin of dent1

1250–1300; Middle English dente, variant of dint
Related formsun·dent·ed, adjective

dent2

[dent]
noun
  1. a toothlike projection, as a tooth of a gearwheel.
  2. Textiles. the space between two wires through which the warp ends are drawn in the reed of a loom.
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Origin of dent2

1545–55; < Middle French < Latin dent- (stem of dēns) tooth

dent.

dent-

  1. variant of denti- before a vowel: dentin.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

incision, indentation, nick, impression, sink, cut, cavity, scratch, pit, hollow, crater, score, trough, dimple, dint, notch, dip, furrow, scallop, crenel

Examples from the Web for dent

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Mr. Dent had received a visitor, and Frank determined to find out who it was.

  • "Well, I'll see you again when necessary," the stranger called to Mr. Dent.

  • Frank wondered at his uncle's caution, for Mr. Dent was not usually nervous.

  • But when they spoke of Frank's uncle, Mr. Dent, it must be they meant our Frank.

  • George glanced at the dent in the side panel of the station wagon.

    The Hohokam Dig

    Theodore Pratt


British Dictionary definitions for dent

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
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verb
  1. to impress or be impressed with a dent or dents
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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
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Word Origin

C16: from French: tooth

dent.

abbreviation for
  1. dental
  2. dentistry
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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 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.

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v.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dent in Medicine

dent-

pref.
  1. Variant ofdenti-
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with dent

dent

see make a dent in.

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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.