If you dent the surface of something, you make a hollow area in it by hitting or pressing it.
A great chunk of loose kerbing smashed into my left-front wheel, bursting the tyre and denting the rim...
Its brass feet dented the carpet's thick pile.
A dent is a hollow in the surface of something which has been caused by hitting or pressing it.
There was a dent in the car which hadn't been there before.
If something dents your ideas or your pride, it makes you realize that your ideas are wrong, or that you are not as good or successful as you thought.
This has not dented the City's enthusiasm for the company.
After a while that sort of thing dents your confidence.
If one thing makes a dent in another, it reduces it by a large amount.
The commission had barely begun to make a dent in the problem...
I hated to put any dents in his enthusiasm, but I was trying to be realistic.