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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
This is not the first time that Dent Coad has spoken about a member of the royal family.
9 shows the distribution of PE in dent area along the axial direction.
Dent, Jr., Of God and Caesar: The Free Exercise Rights of Public School Students, 43 CASE W.
The same approach can be used for evaluating the reinforcement of other anomalies and features such as dents, wrinkle bends, and planar defects.
Dent raised his 50 from 89 deliveries before pressing down hard on the accelerator.
Finally:"Police said Dent refused to put his hands behind his back.
Dents differ in how they respond to the effect of moisture because of the endless possibility of different types of damage and the differences in how pores are closed shut by the damage.
Mutations in the CLCN5 gene encoding the electrogenic chloride/proton exchanger CIC-5 participating in the receptor-mediated endocytosis in the proximal tubule are a causative factor for Dent's disease of type 1.
In the late 1980s, Dent correctly forecast that the Japanese economy would enter a slowdown that would last more than a decade.
Dent's opening entry went on to describe his trip to Kazakhstan as an opportunity to "learn about life, school, students, and teachers in that part of the world."
Bridie Smurtwaite, prosecuting, said: "They both attended the school, with Mr Dent arriving in the queue behind the defendant.
Lee Wilkinson, 40, fought with Michael Dent at Harton Primary School in December 2011 during which he bit off the tip of Mr Dent's left little finger.
They call teeth dent in France & the name makes sense the way teeth do what they do to bacon & shoulders & cakes.
Have you seen those paintless dent repair tools advertised on TV?