by dint of



From by + dint (force, power) + of.[1]



by dint of

  1. By the force of; by means of.
    He succeeded by dint of effort, not talent.
    • 1560, Thomas Cooper, “The Seconde Parte [of Lanquettes Chronicle]”, in Coopers Chronicle, Conteininge the Whole Discourse of the Histories as well of This Realme, as All Other Countreis, [], new edition, London: [] [[I]n the house late Thomas Berthelettes], OCLC 1172192520, folio 27, recto:
      [T]he Scythians perceiuyng they coulde not ouercome them by dint of ſwoorde and warre, changed their fight, & went againſt them with whippes and ſcourges, at the ſight whereof the ſeruant[s] remembring their olde condicion, were ſore abaſhed and ſubmitted them ſelues, takying worthy punyſhment for their offence.
    • 1576, George Whetstone, “The Arbour of Vertue, []”, in The Rocke of Regard, [], London: [] [H. Middleton] for Robert Waley, OCLC 837515946; republished in J[ohn] P[ayne] Collier, editor, The Rocke of Regard, [] (Illustrations of Early English Poetry; vol. 2, no. 2), London: Privately printed, [1867?], OCLC 706027473, pages 149–150:
      [H]is aunceſtours did deſire / By dint of blade, not bagges of droſſe, to honour to aſpire.
    • 1623, John Speed, “Ethelred the Tvvo and Tvventieeth King of the VVest-Saxons, and the Twenty Third Monarch of the Englishmen, His Acts, and Issue”, in The Historie of Great Britaine vnder the Conqvests of the Romans, Saxons, Danes and Normans. [], 2nd edition, London: [] George Hvmble, [], OCLC 1050149679, paragraph 8, page 383:
      Ethelred manfully entred the battaile, and ſo ſeconded his brother, & ouer-tyred Soldiers, that hee made way by dint of his ſword through the thickeſt of their almoſt-conquering enemies; [...]
    • 1709, William Reeves, “A Preliminary Discourse to Tertullian’s Apologetick for the Christians”, in The Apologies of Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and Minutius Felix, in Defence of the Christian Religion, [] In Two Volumes, volume I, London: [] A[wnsham] and J[ohn] Churchill, [], OCLC 1076300189, page 136:
      He [Tertullian] was naturally exceeding Hot and Impatient, [...] to this natural Stock of Fire, and the joint Force of Letters, was added a ſurprizing Vivacity of Wit, edged with a Keeneſs peculiar to himſelf, ſo that he cou'd drive an Argument as far by dint of Reaſon, and clinch it as ſeverely by dint of Wit, as moſt Men living; [...]
    • 1848, John Stuart Mill, “Influence of Credit on Prices”, in Principles of Political Economy: With Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy. [], volume II, London: John W[illiam] Parker, [], OCLC 948263597, book III (Exchange), § 5, page 65:
      Other instances might be cited of parties without any capital at all, who, by dint of mere credit, were enabled, while the aspect of the market favoured their views, to make purchases to a very great extent.
    • 1918 September–November, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “The Land That Time Forgot”, in The Blue Book Magazine, Chicago, Ill.: Story-press Corp., OCLC 18478577; republished as chapter VIII, in Hugo Gernsback, editor, Amazing Stories, volume 1, number 12, New York, N.Y.: Experimenter Publishing, March 1927, OCLC 988016180, page 1141, column 2:
      Nobs, by dint of much scrambling and one or two narrow escapes from death, had managed to follow us up the cliff and was now curled between me and the doorway, having devoured a piece of the dried meat, which he seemed to relish immensely.
    • 2005 April 21, Eamonn Fingleton, witness, “Statement of Eamonn Fingleton, Economic Author: Unsustainable: How Economic Dogma is Destroying American American Prosperity: Tokyo, Japan”, in China’s High Technology Development: Hearings before the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission, One Hundred Ninth Congress, First Session [], Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, OCLC 61434017, page 136:
      By dint of learning by doing over thirty years or more, Japanese LCD manufacturers have so honed their production technologies that they can secure a yield of perfect products of as much as 90 percent in a typical production batch.
  2. (by extension) Because of; by reason of.
    • 1707, [André] Dacier, “Verses XXI, XXII, and XXIII”, in [anonymous], transl., The Life of Pythagoras, with His Symbols and Golden Verses. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 1169737391, footnote (a), page 265:
      Hierocles [of Alexandria] in this Place follows the Thought of Socrates, who in the Phædon of Plato deplores the hard Fate of Men, who by dint of Hearing the Ignorant diſpute and contradict every thing, imagine with themſelves that there is no ſuch thing as clear, ſolid and ſenſible Reaſons; and perſuade themſelves that every thing is uncertain.
    • 2012, Stephen Browne, “The Future of the UN Development System”, in United Nations Development Programme and System, Abingdon, Oxfordshire; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, →ISBN, page 108:
      As a development organization, it [the United Nations Development Programme] competes with other parts of the UN system for funds and attention, but more especially with the World Bank, which has become a substantial presence in developing countries, in terms of resources and influence. UNDP has also retained a coordination role, by dint of history and because of its broad mandate. But the two roles do not sit easily.
    • 2014, Jonathan Healey, “Preface”, in The First Century of Welfare: Poverty and Poor Relief in Lancashire, 1620–1730, Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press, Boydell & Brewer, →ISBN, page XII:
      This is a book about poverty. It is a book about why some people in seventeenth and early-eighteenth-century England ended up so destitute that they called upon formal poor relief for support. [...] You were more likely to end up poor if you were landless, or lived away from your relatives, or simply by dint of being female.
    • 2021, Timothy Y. Chow, Re: Clarification of Skepticism, in: FOM [Foundations of Mathematics] mailing list, Mar 4 2021
      There can be a tendency to think of mathematical research as being carried out by a solitary thinker, conquering intellectual hurdles by dint of sheer thought.



  1. ^ by (the) dint of” under “dint, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1896; “by dint of, phrase”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.