A dent is a gouge or hollow that's left in a surface after some kind of blow. If you hit a soup pot with a hammer, it will leave a dent.

Car accidents, whether they're serious or just fender benders, often result in dents. If you fall off your bike, you may get a dent in your helmet, and a mishandled package might be delivered to your door full of dents. There's also a figurative kind of dent, a reduction in amount: "You barely made a dent in that oatmeal — aren't you hungry?" Dent comes from Middle English, originally a variation on dint, "a blow dealt in fighting."

Definitions of dent
  1. noun
    an impression in a surface (as made by a blow)
    synonyms: ding, divot, gouge, nick
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    a small gouge (as in the cover of a book)
    type of:
    blemish, defect, mar
    a mark or flaw that spoils the appearance of something (especially on a person's body)
  2. noun
    a depression scratched or carved into a surface
    synonyms: incision, prick, scratch, slit
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    score, scotch
    a slight surface cut (especially a notch that is made to keep a tally)
    type of:
    depression, impression, imprint
    a concavity in a surface produced by pressing
  3. noun
    an appreciable consequence (especially a lessening)
    “it made a dent in my bank account”
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    type of:
    consequence, effect, event, issue, outcome, result, upshot
    a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon
  4. verb
    make a depression into
    “The bicycle dented my car”
    synonyms: indent
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    type of:
    bend, deform, flex, turn, twist
    cause (a plastic object) to assume a crooked or angular form
Word Family

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