Definition of dent in English:


Syllabification: dent
Pronunciation: /dent


  • 1A slight hollow in a hard, even surface made by a blow or by the exertion of pressure.
    More example sentences
    • The guard was hit so hard that the blow left a dent on his safety helmet.
    • For a second I thought the bullet had gone right through, as I felt a pain in the front and back of my head, but I soon realised the bullet had done little damage other than make a slight dent in my skull.
    • Inside the bridge of the Goldoba, Ramirez clenched the rails around the helmsman's chair so hard he left dents in the metal.
    indentation, dimple, dip, depression, hollow, crater, pit, trough
  • 1.1A diminishing effect; a reduction: a dent in profits
    More example sentences
    • Also looking wistfully at the three library books I must return tomorrow; I've had them for six weeks, but have scarce made a dent in them, such is my perdition.
    • A signature-revocation effort by opponents made a dent in the final tally but was not enough to keep the initiative off the ballot.
    • But the wage demands of players in recent years have been such that these vast sums have barely made a dent in the economic problems of English football.
    reduction, depletion, deduction, cut


[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Mark with a dent: the moose dropped a hind foot and dented the hood of the car
    More example sentences
    • The body crumpled limply but inertia carried it into the side of a car with enough force to seriously dent the entire side and shove it three feet sideways into its parked neighbour.
    • The passenger side window was smashed, the light clusters were smashed, and the panels on the drivers side door were dented.
    • With a growl, Satyr turned on the engine and accelerated into his father's car, denting the side and scratching the doors.
    indent, mark, ding
  • 1.1Have an adverse effect on; diminish: this neither deterred him nor dented his enthusiasm
    More example sentences
    • The adverse publicity dented the airline's reputation and at the end of the year a loss of £25,483 was recorded.
    • He insists the experience hasn't dented his enthusiasm for making another film, but he would never adapt one of his plays again.
    • But that has not dented his anticipation or enthusiasm for the coming campaign.
    diminish, reduce, lessen, shrink, weaken, erode, undermine, sap, shake, damage, impair


Middle English (as a noun designating a blow with a weapon): variant of dint.

More definitions of dent

Definition of dent in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space