\ \ [OE] Dint originally signified a ‘blow’ or ‘hit’, particularly one inflicted by a sword or similar weapon. Its meaning broadened out in the 14th century to ‘force of attack or impact’, and this is the source of the modern English phrase by dint of, which to begin with denoted ‘by force of’. In the 13th century a variant form dent arose, which by the 16th century had moved on metaphorically to the sense ‘depression made by a blow’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dint — Dint, n. [OE. dint, dent, dunt, a blow, AS. dynt; akin to Icel. dyntr a dint, dynta to dint, and perh. to L. fendere (in composition). Cf. 1st {Dent}, {Defend}.] 1. A blow; a stroke. [Obs.] Mortal dint. Milton. Like thunder s dint. Fairfax. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dint — /dɪnt / (say dint) noun 1. a dent. 2. Obsolete a blow; stroke. –verb (t) 3. to make a dint or dints in. 4. to impress or drive in with force. –phrase 5. by dint of, by means of: by dint of argument. {Middle English; Old English dynt} –dintless,… …   Australian English dictionary

  • dint — [dınt] n [: Old English; Origin: dynt blow, hit ] by dint of (doing) sth by using a particular method ▪ By dint of hard work and persistence, she had got the job of manager …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • dint — [ dınt ] noun count a DENT in a surface by dint of something FORMAL by means of something …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • dint — ► NOUN ▪ an impression or hollow in a surface; a dent. ● by dint of Cf. ↑by dint of ORIGIN Old English, «a blow with a weapon» …   English terms dictionary

  • dint — [dint] n. [ME < OE dynt < IE base * dhen , to strike > DING] 1. force; exertion: now chiefly in by dint of 2. a dent 3. Archaic a blow vt. 1. to dent 2. to drive in wit …   English World dictionary

  • Dint — Dint, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Dinted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Dinting}.] To make a mark or cavity on or in, by a blow or by pressure; to dent. Donne. Tennyson. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dint — O.E. dynt blow dealt in fighting (especially by a sword), from P.Gmc. *duntiz (Cf. O.N. dyntr blow, kick ). Phrase by dint of ... by force of, by means of, is early 14c …   Etymology dictionary

  • dint — I noun ableness, authority, control, effectiveness, effectuality, efficacy, force, forcefulness, greatness, influence, might, mightiness, potence, potency, power, powerfulness, prepotency, pressure, puissance, strength, superiority, sway, vigor,… …   Law dictionary

  • dint — n. by dint of (by dint of hard work) * * * [dɪnt] by dint of (by dint of hard work) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • dint — UK [dɪnt] / US noun [countable] Word forms dint : singular dint plural dints a dent in a surface • by dint of something …   English dictionary

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