• synonyms


See more synonyms for dent on Thesaurus.com
  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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  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 dent

1250–1300; Middle English dente, variant of dint
Related formsun·dent·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for dented

nick, gouge, perforate, indent, scratch, dig, mark, imprint, dint, hollow, dimple, ridge, notch, pit, furrow

Examples from the Web for dented

Contemporary Examples of dented

Historical Examples of dented

  • The hat was dented, the cape was torn, and there were marks on Mr. Hennessy's face.

  • He took it from her and pointed out where it had been dented by the firing-pin.

    Hidden Gold

    Wilder Anthony

  • The gent with the dented countenance looks like a Peruvian dog.

  • The point of the ruler glanced off the welt of my boot and dented the oil-cloth.

    Sonia Married

    Stephen McKenna

  • Near-by the sod was dented and torn where the weight had struck.

    On Your Mark!

    Ralph Henry Barbour

British Dictionary definitions for dented


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

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


  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 for dent

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

Word Origin and History for dented



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

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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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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with dented


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.