by dint of

Idioms & Phrases

by dint of

By means of, as in By dint of hard work he got his degree in three years. The word dint, which survives only in this expression, originally meant "a stroke or blow," and by the late 1500s signified the force behind such a blow. The current term preserves the implication of vigorous or persistent means.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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