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

n an impression in a surface (as made by a blow)

ding, gouge, nick
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)

n a depression scratched or carved into a surface

incision, prick, scratch, slit
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

n an appreciable consequence (especially a lessening)

“it made a dent in my bank account”
Type of:
consequence, effect, event, issue, outcome, result, upshot
a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon

v make a depression into

“The bicycle dented my car”
Type of:
bend, deform, flex, turn, twist
cause (a plastic object) to assume a crooked or angular form

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