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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 ?
Dent depth reflects the damage degree of the pipe caused by the indenter [5].
A dent represents permanent damage to a pipeline by deformation.
It should be noted that, according to the local NBC News affiliate website, Dent said a blood test showed no drugs in his system.
Le reliquat de lait qui subsiste entre les dents et les levres fermentent au cours de la nuit, devient acides et attaquent les dents.
He said Wilkinson did not know that Mr Dent was going to be at the school and just wanted to enjoy the play like the other parents who attended.
Dents will be moving in early 2011 to more modern spacious premises totalling 30,000 sq ft in Furnax Lane.
Dent, who was on hand at Pontefract last week to present the latest 'lifetime in racing' award to Alfie Mills, has no target number for volunteers, other than to recruit enough to provide a -committee in each of the six Racing Welfare regions.
Other than the common practice of combing dents in repairing and maintaining air-conditioners, there does not appear to be published data quantifying effects dents in fins have on performance.
The 195th-ranked Dent then grabbed the microphone from the umpire s chair and thanked the fans.
According to Dent, Baby Boomers a generation that went from hippie to yuppie culture typically married by 26.
Dent belongs to the category of pastilles that adults typically purchase regularly.
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.
Wood dents: For simple dents, try adding a drop of water in the dent, cover with soft cloth; apply hot iron for a few seconds.