Definition of dependant in English:

dependant

(also dependent)

noun

  • A person who relies on another, especially a family member, for financial support.

    ‘a single man with no dependants’
    • ‘Medical and dental benefits are available, not only for the member but for their dependents as well.’
    • ‘Military dependents can live in family housing for up to six months after the death of a service member.’
    • ‘Small and medium enterprises absorb unemployment, feed families and other dependents, and are reliable taxpayers.’
    • ‘At the time of his death, Christine was 25 years old, and was left with three children and two or three other dependents to support.’
    • ‘Bringing his family and dependents to Iceland, he built a farm in what eventually became the capitol city of Reykjavik.’
    • ‘Just across the border are thousands upon thousands of poor, especially men with dependents in need of support.’
    • ‘That will depend on your own attitude but, if you have a family and dependents, you'll also have to think about how they see things.’
    • ‘You usually need life insurance of some kind if you own a house, have children or other dependents who rely on your income, or have large debts.’
    • ‘Anybody with dependants should consider how they would cope if a family member were caught up in a disaster such as the Asian tsunami.’
    • ‘But an employee with a family would get airfare for up to five dependents.’
    • ‘The purpose of life cover is to provide support for your dependants.’
    • ‘He received the reply that he would have to relinquish all rights of a salary, a pension or support for his dependants.’
    • ‘Neither Molly nor Joshua are dependents and support for both will terminate.’
    • ‘Mr Kelly said this could be a great comfort to families and dependants as it gave them an avenue of redress.’
    • ‘What is the impact on families as we set taxation rates for families with dependants?’
    • ‘It was large enough to accommodate the family and its dependants, and the bevy of servants who supported them.’
    • ‘A more conventional line was taken by the Chartists, who set out to win sympathy for the respectable working man as a head of household with dependants to support.’
    • ‘This payment will be a welcome boost to some 716,000 people and their dependants who rely on social welfare for their weekly income.’
    • ‘Have you planned for the financial security of your dependants?’
    • ‘The legion is a charity which safeguards the welfare, interests and memory of those who have served in the armed forces and their families and dependants.’
    child, minor
    View synonyms

Usage

Until recently the only correct spelling of the noun in British English was dependant, as in a single man with no dependants. However, the variant dependent is now standard, and indeed it is now as common as dependant in the Oxford English Corpus. In US English dependent is the standard form for the noun. The adjective is spelled -ent, not -ant, as in we are dependent on his goodwill

Origin

Late Middle English (denoting a dependency): from Old French, literally ‘hanging down from’, present participle of dependre (see depend).

Pronunciation

dependant

/dɪˈpɛnd(ə)nt/