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dent something up

to mar or make depressions in something. I don't want to dent my car up. It's still new. He dented up my new bike!
See also: dent, up

make a dent in something

1. Lit. to make a depression in something. I kicked the side of the car and made a dent in it. Please don't make a dent in the side of the house.
2. Fig. to use only a little of something; to make a small amount of progress with something. Look at what's left on your plate! You hardly made a dent in your dinner. I've been slaving all day, and I have hardly made a dent in my work.
See also: dent, make

make a dent in something

also put a dent in something
to have an effect on something All the talk about kids eating too much sugar hasn't seemed to make a dent in the candy business.
Usage notes: sometimes used without in: Technology cannot fix education - no amount of technology will make a dent.
See also: dent, make

make a dent in something

  (British, American & Australian) also put a dent in something (American)
to reduce the amount or level of something The roof repairs made quite a dent in our savings. (often negative) Police efforts have hardly put a dent in the level of drug trafficking on the streets.
See also: dent, make

make a dent in

Begin to accomplish or consume something, as in I've barely made a dent in this pile of correspondence, or Help us put a dent in this pie. This metaphoric expression alludes to striking a blow to make a physical indentation in something.
See also: dent, make
References in periodicals archive ?
Lee Wilkinson, 40, fought with Michael Dent at Harton Primary School, South Shields, in December 2011 during which he bit off the tip of Mr Dent's left little finger.
The latest manifestation of that belief is the new Dent Denison, a classic, three-handed wristwatch made in the finest English tradition.
Pour que le brossage soit de qualite il faut se brosser de haut en bas pour que les poils penetrent entre les dents.
OnSource Photo Inspections saves time by identifying dents with Smart Picture
An Inkster district court judge, after reviewing the tape, tossed the assault and resisting charges, but Dent faces an April 1 hearing on the drug charge.
Our enhanced digital strategy, which SteadyRain helped us build through our consulting engagement, was implemented smoothly and efficiently,” said Christine Lifka, Dent Wizard Director of Marketing.
Kuerten and Dent each broke each other's serve twice in the second, but Dent won the big points when he needed to while Kuerten's trademark one-handed backhands sailed high and out at critical junctures.
Britons who work for BAE Systems in Saudi are reassessing whether to continue living in the country following the shooting of Mr Dent, who was originally from Southport, Merseyside.
We have never lost an investor a dime of principal or interest in 24 years," said Jay Dent.
However, a great deal of water has passed under the bridge since late 2003 and Dent, who is currently ranked a lowly 533rd in the world, is once again trying to rebuild his career.
Trouble flared when three youngsters gatecrashed a party and were chased away by Dent and her friends.
Figure 7 is a photograph of a typical dent where the elliptical affected area and circular flattened area are marked for clarity.
Welfare volunteers co-ordinator Alec Dent (right) with Alfie Mills
The new Dents building will include a large warehouse to house stock, design and manufacturing facilities, retail outlet, as well as office and meeting rooms for Dent's operational and administration staff.
n TENNIS: Wild cards Marcos Baghdatis and Taylor Dent both advanced to the second round of the Proton Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.