Suppose you had a very slight car accident and a point of the car's door looks as if it's pushed in, something like this

enter image description here

However, without any scratches, just a simple anomaly that can be easily fixed. How do you describe the door?

I came up with:

  1. The car's left door is now a bit deformed
  2. The car's left door is now a bit pushed-in
  3. The car's door looks concave

I am not sure about any of these sentence. Would you help with this?

Photo Reference: https://mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/16774/fiat-punto-door-dent (The owner of this picture can ask me to delete his/her photo)

  • 16
    The page you linked uses the word "dent"... – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Nov 2 '18 at 12:33
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    Your three example sentences are fine. Except you'd still likely have to follow up to clarify the damage with " ...there's a dent in the side" – BruceWayne Nov 2 '18 at 14:49
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    Description: in need of a tool known as a dent puller. – Mazura Nov 2 '18 at 16:15
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    The damage in the photo, even if we imagine the scrapes as not present, is a little worse than a dent. I'd say the door was badly dented and a little bent out of shape or deformed. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 2 '18 at 18:17
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    Nah, it's a dent. If it were the width of the door, you might say it were caved in. – Will Crawford Nov 4 '18 at 1:31

My first thought was “dent”:

a small, hollow mark in the surface of something caused by pressure or being hit:
She ran into my car and put a dent in it.
(Cambridge Dictionary)

Briefly, “deformation” suggests to me a manufacturer’s error, not a dent.

“Pushed in” seems okay to me, but that’s somewhat broad, or not as specific as “dent”.

“Concave” sounds like a technical observation and not really like damage from an accident.


It's called a dent (noun). The door is dented (adj). He had a small accident and dented (verb) the door.



The car's door is dented.

The door has a large dent.

A dent can be as small as a coin-sized ding or dimple.

Smashing an entire side of a sheet-metal object can cause very large dents, or crumple the object.


If the dent is small, it's known as a ding <- see ding2

The difference between a ding and a dent is an informal one:

but relates to size, whether the paint is scratched etc.

  • I've had a few arguments over dent/ding and now I can add this (size based) info to my rebuttals :) – RozzA Nov 3 '18 at 0:33

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