Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Force or effort; power: succeeded by dint of hard work.
  • n. A dent.
  • transitive v. To put a dent in.
  • transitive v. To impress or drive in forcibly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A blow, stroke, especially dealt in a fight.
  • n. Force, power; especially in by dint of.
  • n. A dent.
  • v. To dent

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A blow; a stroke.
  • n. The mark left by a blow; an indentation or impression made by violence; a dent.
  • n. Force; power; -- esp. in the phrase by dint of.
  • transitive v. To make a mark or cavity on or in, by a blow or by pressure; to dent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A blow; a stroke.
  • n. A mark made by a blow or by pressure on a surface: now dent.
  • n. Force; power: now chiefly in the phrase by dint of: as, by dint of argument.
  • To make a mark or depression on or in by a blow or stroke: now usually dent.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. interchangeable with `means' in the expression `by means of'

Etymologies

Middle English; see dent1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English dynt. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He scarce scrupled a penny after I gave him leave to try a sword dint upon it.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • Such was his strength that none against whom he laid lance in rest could keep the saddle, and no shield was proof against his sword dint; but for his courtesy even more than for his courage and strength,

    Stories from Le Morte D'Arthur and the Mabinogion

  • Such was his strength that none against whom he had lain lance in rest could keep the saddle, and no shield was proof against his sword dint; but for his courtesy even more than for his courage and strength, Sir

    The Junior Classics — Volume 4

  • Such was his strength that none against whom he laid lance in rest could keep the saddle, and no shield was proof against his sword dint; but for his courtesy even more than for his courage and strength, Sir Launcelot was famed far and near.

    Heroes Every Child Should Know

  • "Every true-born son or daughter of San Guido," she explained, "bears in the palm of the hand a little pit or dint, which is the survival in his descendants of the scar made by the thorn in the hand of San Guido himself.

    The Lady Paramount

  • In reality, by dint of their sheer numbers, Latinos are reshaping the American Catholic Church, with every indication that their impact will only increase in years to come.

    American Grace

  • More than three decades later, through dint of hard work and shrewd judgment, Mr. Blankfein is at the helm of Goldman Sachs, the most powerful bank on what's left of Wall Street—a position that has made him a wealthy man.

    Still Standing

  • On the other hand, it would be gratifying to assume the disappearance indicates that those responsible for the current series have decided to acknowledge that though much separated the upper and lower classes in English society during the period covered, the classes by dint of living under the same roof were inevitably intertwined.

    David Finkle: First Nighter: Upstairs Downstairs Makes Sparkling PBS Return

  • By dint of stubborn steadfast perseverance upon the endless mountainside of art I reached at last a lofty level.

    2009 May 08 | NIGEL BEALE NOTA BENE BOOKS

  • Sometimes, for reasons not entirely clear, I get warm fuzzy thoughts that we hunters and anglers - by dint of our rugged individualism, our pragmatism and our vast reserves of good, old-fashioned common sense - are somehow immune to the ever-changing winds of faddishness and gimmickry.

    A Tactical Side-by-Side Shotgun?

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