dent

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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

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 ?
To reverse the effects of denting, conventional fin combs were passed through the condensers to straighten the fins.
Denting the fins also reduced air-conditioning equipment efficiency.
Experiments were conducted to determine the effects on air-conditioning system performance caused by denting condenser fins and the extent to which conventional fin repair methods restore performance.