Advertisement

View synonyms for dent

dent

1

[ dent ]

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.

dent

2

[ 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.

dent-

3
  1. variant of denti- before a vowel:

    dentin.

dent.

4

abbreviation for

  1. dental.
  2. dentist.
  3. dentistry.

dent.

1

abbreviation for

  1. dental
  2. dentistry


dent

2

/ dɛnt /

noun

  1. a hollow or dip in a surface, as one made by pressure or a blow
  2. an appreciable effect, esp of lessening

    a dent in our resources

verb

  1. to impress or be impressed with a dent or dents

dent

3

/ dɛnt /

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

Discover More

Other Words From

  • un·dented adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of dent1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English dint, dent, dunt “blow of a weapon; stroke of a sword”; dint

Origin of dent2

First recorded in 1545–55; from Middle French, from Latin dent- (stem of dēns ) tooth

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of dent1

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

Origin of dent2

C16: from French: tooth

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

Idioms
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

More idioms and phrases containing dent

see make a dent in .

Discover More

Example Sentences

My desk still has the dent from where I hit my head against it when I heard that one.

That is bound to put a dent in public confidence in the police.

Even with mixed reviews, the film did little to dent Clooney's reputation.

Plane travel is extremely dehydrating, and continuously purchasing water at airport prices can put a dent in your wallet.

Emergency benefits have just expired for some 1.3 million jobless Americans, putting a huge dent in our economy.

I guess he can't make a dent on the Chinese disposition, or he'd have had Wong dead before this.

Please take the dent out of my side, Poly, for I am more crippled than was the Soldier.

The snow-covered Dent du Midi had a splendor like the face of the full moon when it is rising.

Then he would show the dent in his cheek, and pass his helmet round for all to see, as a conjurer does.

Mr. John Dent was born about the middle of the eighteenth century.

Advertisement

Related Words

Discover More

Words That Use Dent-

What does dent- mean?

Dent- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “tooth.” It is used in some medical and scientific terms, including in dentistry.

Dent- comes from the Latin dēns, meaning “tooth.” Greek words for “tooth” are odṓn, source of the combining forms odonto- and -odont, and odoús, source of the combining form odus.

The word dent, as in “a hollow or depression in a surface,” does not share a root with the combining form dent-. Learn where dent comes from at our entry for the word.

What are variants of dent-?

Dent- is a variant of dento-, which loses its -o– when combined with words or word elements beginning with vowels. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use dento- article.

Another, more common, variant of dent-, especially before a form with a Latin root, is denti-, as in dentiform.

Examples of dent-

A word you may have come across related to dent- is dentist, from the French dentiste. A dentist is “a person whose profession is dentistry, the prevention and treatment of diseases and malformations of the teeth, gums, and oral cavity.”

We know dent- refers to “tooth,” so what does the -ist portion of the word mean? The suffix -ist denotes “a person who practices or is concerned with something.” A dentist is literally a “tooth-ist”!

What are some words that use or are related to the combining form dent-?

What are some other forms that dent- may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form -algia means “pain.” With this in mind, what is dentalgia?

Word of the Day

firkin

[fur-kin ]

Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Dictionary.com Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Dictionary.com Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement