[ dent ]
/ dɛnt /


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.

verb (used with object)

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.

verb (used without object)

to show dents; become indented: Tin dents more easily than steel.
to sink in, making a dent: Nails dent into metal.

Nearby words

  1. densimetric,
  2. densitometer,
  3. density,
  4. density current,
  5. density function,
  6. dent corn,
  7. dent-,
  8. dent.,
  9. dental,
  10. dental abscess


    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 dent

1250–1300; Middle English dente, variant of dint

Related formsun·dent·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for denting

British Dictionary definitions for denting


/ (dɛnt) /


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

Word Origin for dent

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


/ (dɛnt) /


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 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 denting
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with denting


see make a dent in.

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