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.
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.
a hollow or dip in a surface, as one made by pressure or a blow
an appreciable effect, esp of lessening: a 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
see: make a dent in


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