- 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
- a toothlike projection, as a tooth of a gearwheel.
- Textiles. the space between two wires through which the warp ends are drawn in the reed of a loom.
Origin of dent2
- variant of denti- before a vowel: dentin.
Related Wordsincision, 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
My desk still has the dent from where I hit my head against it when I heard that one.Why So Many Surgeons Are Psychos
December 17, 2014
That is bound to put a dent in public confidence in the police.Idris Elba on Eric Garner, ‘Mi Mandela,’ and Selling Weed to Dave Chappelle
December 6, 2014
Even with mixed reviews, the film did little to dent Clooney's reputation.Clooney: A Constant Charmer at the Altar
September 28, 2014
Plane travel is extremely dehydrating, and continuously purchasing water at airport prices can put a dent in your wallet.How to Get Cheaper Tickets, Live Like a Local, and Other Great Travel Hacks
June 4, 2014
The sequester has put a dent into federal government hiring.Today’s Unemployment Report Is an S.O.S. to the Fed
September 6, 2013
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
- 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 dent
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.
- Variant ofdenti-
Idioms and Phrases with dent
see make a dent in.