Difference Between Dint and Dent

Difference Between Dint and Dent

Dint and dent share the same origins; they come from the Old English dynt. Both dint and dent can refer to the result of a blow – a hollow in a surface. The difference between dint and dent lies in their usage. Dint is not commonly used to refer to a dent; it is mainly used in the expression ‘by dint of’. Dent is the most commonly used word out of the two. This is the main difference between dint and dent.Difference Between Dint and Dent - infographic

Dint – Meaning and Usage

As a noun, dint can refer to a dent or hollow in a surface.

There was a small dint in the car’s fender.

The hat had a dint at the top.

But this meaning is not very commonly used. Dint also has the archaic meaning blow or stroke, typically one made with a weapon in fighting. In general usage, dint is mainly used in the phrase “by dint of” which is equivalent to by means of or through.

He reached that position by dint of sheer hard work.

They continued their mission by dint of will power.

Dint can also be used as a transitive verb. To dint means to mark a surface with dents or hollows.

She hit it hard, but she didn’t even dint it.

The metal was dull and dinted.

Main Difference - Dint vs Dent

Dent – Meaning and Usage

Dent can be used as a noun and a verb. The noun dent can have two meanings:

A slight hollow in a hard even surface made by a blow or pressure

The front door has an ugly dent.

He bought an old car with a dent.

A reduction in amount or size

It barely made a dent in the population.

The verb dent also has two meanings.

Mark with a dent

Most of the cars were badly dented.

The car dented the wall pretty badly.

Diminish or have an adverse effect on something

His confidence has been dented by his recent defeat.

His enthusiasm was not dented by their rejection.

Difference Between Dint and Dent

Dented Metal

Difference Between Dint and Dent


Dint can refer to a hollow in the surface, a blow, or a force of attack.

Dent can refer to a hollow in the surface or a reduction.


Dint is mainly used in the phrase ‘by dint of’.

Dent is commonly used to refer to a hollow in the surface.


Dint is not as commonly used as dent.

Dent is more commonly used than dint.


Dint is a transitive verb.

Dent is both a transitive and an intransitive verb.

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About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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