to make a dent in

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - make a dent in

"to make a dent in"

to begin to accomplish something;

to begin to consume something


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - make a dent in

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: That is quite a lot of work you have piled up on your desk.

Colleague 2: I know and I have barely even made a dent in it.

Colleague 1: How much have you managed to get done?

Colleague 2: Maybe about five percent of it all.

Colleague 1: I guess you will be busy for a while.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - make a dent in

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: How are you managing with that forty kilogram bag of rice your mother sent you last month?

Friend 2: My family doesn't really like rice so we haven't made a dent in it. There is probably thirty-nine kilos left. Why? Would you like some rice?

Friend 1: Yes, thank you. My family loves rice. We can definitely help you use up the bag.

Test Your Understanding  

to make a dent in - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   687   click for frequency by country

to make a dent in - Gerund Form:

Making a dent in cleaning the garage, one end was tidied.

to make a dent in - Examples:

1)  141,000 in July, 96,000 in August. Not enough to make a dent in unemployment, or to crow about too loudly.

2)  ... a real impact, often brings up fear. If you want to make a dent in the universe, you need to get out of your comfort zone.

3)  ... and I don't know how to even make a dent in it. I am lost and overwhelmed and embarrassed. 

4)   I wasn't ever going to make a dent in this country's educational problems by teaching just a few classes of students at ...

5)  They can tax the rich at 100% and it won't even make a dent in our debt.

6)  These are people with creativity, vision and energy so abundant they actually make a dent in the world.

7)  Summer is the best time to make a dent in the book pile on your nightstand.

8)  Even though we are already cutting back, it won't make a dent in total worldwide emissions unless China and India "fairly" reduce emissions.

9)  The loss of paychecks and housing allowances from departing sailors will make a dent in a regional economy that relies on the military for almost half its income.

10)  I figure deploying five or six of those recipes at once might finally make a dent in my stash. 

11)  Removals have increased significantly, and the agency is beginning to make a dent in both the fugitive illegal alien and the criminal alien populations. 

12)  We can only hope that LG can make a dent in the smartphone market with there upcoming flagship device.

13)  I looked over and my neighbor who was shoveling mulch, trying to make a dent in a six-yard pile he got delivered last week. 

14)  Even were this figure accurate, it would barely make a dent in an economy that needs to create 11 million jobs to make up for those ...

15)  ... to acknowledge that their efforts have yet to reach the scale needed to make a dent in the combined challenges we face. 

16)  After all, Acer isn't going to make a dent in the tablet market so how do they stay relevant?

17)  Yes, you may have to find a second job until you've made a dent in your debt.

18)  At the two week mark I've barely made a dent in my thesis in terms of actual words. 

19)  ... using it every day for a few months now and have barely made a dent in it.

20)  ... years ago, and even that peak, at above $4/gallon, hardly made a dent in our use of private autos to scoot us around.