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dent up

To cause dents or dimples in something. I can't believe how much that runaway shopping cart dented up my car!
See also: dent, up

make a dent in (something)

To make noticeable progress in a task or to consume a noticeable amount of something of which there is a large quantity. I have a meeting in an hour, but before that I'm hoping to make a dent in this backlog of documents that need to be filed. I didn't think we had made enough potato salad for the party, but we barely made a dent in it—look how much we have left!
See also: dent, make

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

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

make a dent in something

COMMON If you make a dent in something, you reduce its amount or level. The savings from these cuts make only a small dent in the federal deficit. The average family in Britain spends £100 a week on food, which makes a big dent in the household budget. Note: You can also say that you put a dent in something. These devices can put a major dent in companies' IT budgets.
See also: dent, make, something

make a ˈdent/ˈhole in something

(informal) reduce something: Having to pay out unexpectedly for car repairs made a big hole in my savings.The embarrassing stories about his past made quite a dent in his reputation.
See also: dent, hole, make, something
References in periodicals archive ?
It can be derived that; failure occurs in the boundary of the dent area along the pipe axial direction.
An 8% dent with a gouge approximately 10 inches long was dressed to remove stress concentrators and prepared before a single-wrap mold formed the filler material in the dent region, building back the ovality of the pipeline.
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.
La majorite des dentistes generalistes ont tendance a le faire et c'est dommageable pour les dents de l'enfant.
He wanted to be able to support his wife and three young children and he was working away providing for his family on one such occasion when his wife started a relationship with Mr Dent," he said.
Developer Henry Boot Developments has planning in place to develop a Waitrose store on the Dents site.
After the break-up of Burke's yard, Dent sought a new outlet for his experience and has found it with Racing Welfare, for which he has the task of recruiting and managing volunteers in the areas of welfare and fundraising.
One common condition found in the field is dents within fins of condensers.
When Dent ended the four-hour, 12-minute marathon, with a backhand service return winner down the line, cheers erupted across the grounds and he jogged around the court slapping the hands of roaring fans leaning over the fences.
Thankfully the dent puller solves the problem making dents, even up to the size of a grapefruit, disappear
According to Nobel Prize nominee, economic forecaster Harry Dent Jr.
The Norwegian confectionery company Brynild Gruppen has found a true recipe for success for its Dent pastille.
Torevell Dent Chartered Certified Accountants, of Springwood, has merged with Almondbury accountancy firm Capewell & Sutcliffe.
companies absolutely cannot pay all of the pension and health care benefits that they have promised to their workers," Dent states.