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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. © 2015 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 ?
Dents initially 15% of OD installed in 12.75-inch x .0188-inch, Grade X42 pipe using a 4-inch end cap.
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.
But you can tackle these minor dings and dents in a very ' DIY' way.
William Kennewell a perdu toutes ses dents apres avoir bu de six a huit litres de soda par jour pendant trois ans, rapport Adelaide Now.
TOP PRICE From right, Mary Dent, Jim Dent, Barbara Hetherington, Thomas Dent, James Carlile with Blueberry Alonso Renata II, who sold to the Hetheringtons for 5,200gns
Boyes Rees has also been engaged for the pounds 2.4m relocation of Dents, one of the largest employees in the town.
"In fact I bought a training course from another company in dent removal intending to trade independently.
A systematic study of the effect of fin dents on air-conditioning system performance is performed.
Halverson said paintless dent repair is the art of repairing damaged car panels by manipulating the area of the panel to a factory-like condition without the use of paint or auto body fillers while retaining the integrity of the original paint finish.
The Insurance Law would be amended relation to service contracts, to allow a seller or supplier of windshield repair or paintless dent removal services to offer service contracts for the repair of chips or cracks in a motor vehicle windshield, but not including services that involve the replacement of the entire windshield, according to legislation introduced by Senator James L.
Dented carpet: Iron a damp cloth over affected areas for 30 seconds, then "rake" fibers with your fingers.
If possible, inspect the vehicle at the incident location to confirm whether any environmental factors such as trees, buildings, or other obstructions could have shielded the vehicle and affected the distribution of the dents. For identification purposes, document the vehicle's make, model, color, vehicle identification number, license plate number, mileage, and date of manufacture.
Here in Iraq we've noticed that; when we chamber--but; not; fire--rounds in our M16-serieG rifles or M4/M4A1 carbines, it dents the round's primer.
This involves the latest techniques for repairing dents and paint scratches without removing body panels on the vehicle.