Definition of dependent in English:



  • 1Contingent on or determined by.

    ‘the various benefits will be dependent on length of service’
    • ‘The dependent measure is the time it takes the participant to complete each task.’
    • ‘Investing in a corporate bond offers the flexibility of a regular interest payment at a higher rate, although this rate is dependent on the financial strength of the company concerned.’
    • ‘Performance and memory required is dependent on the format and size of each native source file.’
    • ‘The attributable risk of obesity is dependent to some extent on the threshold used for obesity.’
    • ‘The space required is dependent on production volume.’
    • ‘While they often intersect, they are not dependent in any way.’
    • ‘Initially, most patients find it hard to accept responsibility for themselves and for their illness, preferring to hold others responsible and to adopt a passive or dependent attitude to the analyst.’
    • ‘Market development is a complex process, dependent to a significant degree on the simultaneity between buyers and sellers.’
    • ‘The benefit of the time assistance is dependent in a complicated way on its uncertainty.’
    • ‘The problem is that such a realization of search is very dependent on the query word or phrase, entered by the user.’
    • ‘Major pancreatic resection invariably results in the development of insulin dependent diabetes.’
    • ‘The organization's success, in fact its very survival, over the long term is dependent on ethical leadership.’
    • ‘Before the transplant she had uncontrollable insulin dependent diabetes and daily episodes of hypoglycaemia.’
    • ‘The stability of rule-ordered actions is dependent upon the shared meaning assigned to words used to formulate a set of rules.’
    • ‘An asylum seeker with insulin dependent diabetes has recently had her claim for asylum rejected.’
    • ‘The success of an operating system is dependent on the applications support that it generates more than any other single factor.’
    • ‘The number of analyses exceeds the number of studies because several studies analyzed two or more dependent variables.’
    • ‘Today's cellular telephone systems are mainly circuit-switched, with connections always dependent on circuit availability.’
    • ‘The promoter induced gene expression after heat shock in a time-course dependent manner.’
    • ‘Even with all that new technology can offer, success remains dependent on leadership.’
    conditional on, contingent on, based on, depending on, resting on, hanging on, hingeing on
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  • 2Requiring someone or something for financial or other support.

    ‘an economy heavily dependent on oil exports’
    ‘households with dependent children’
    • ‘Firstly, the health economy has, for many years, been living beyond its means, and has been dependent on external financial support to supplement the resources it initially received.’
    • ‘We are now so dependent on the financial system, without parallel systems of support, that the result could be catastrophic for humanity.’
    • ‘The success of these businesses is dependent on the support of the entire community, and this support has been forthcoming.’
    • ‘The successful implementation of a supply chain management strategy is dependent on the support systems that are in place.’
    • ‘The parties supporting her are wholly dependent on her nod for their survival.’
    • ‘He felt helpless, dependent on whomever should be near him.’
    • ‘During the 1990s, the bank pushed large loans on the state so as to render it dependent on outside financial support.’
    • ‘But in the past three years, private capital inflows have fallen and the US financial system is increasingly dependent on funds from foreign central banks.’
    • ‘While the agriculture sector is quite dynamic, it is largely dependent on State support, especially for credit flow, he says.’
    • ‘Further, adolescents are in a dependent position, unable to leave the family or to challenge the parents' superior authority.’
    • ‘The care of the children, financial support for the dependent spouse, the children, and other matters such as pension and life assurance and inheritance rights will also be decided by the court.’
    • ‘This activity was dependent on financial donations from friends and family.’
    • ‘Imagine yourself helpless and completely dependent on other people.’
    • ‘Can democracy survive a system in which politicians and political parties are dependent on the support of big business?’
    • ‘It is undoubtedly true that higher rates makes savings more attractive, and thereby assists consumers who are dependent on income from financial assets.’
    • ‘The cash poor nation becomes more and more dependent and is unable to create growth, as they annually service the debts.’
    • ‘Esteemed as an independent thinker and artist, she was a woman profoundly dependent on the financial and emotional support and approval of others, mostly men.’
    • ‘But information is also dependent on context and requires intelligence in order to be understood.’
    • ‘The airport's success is largely dependent on the support of local public and businesses, he said.’
    • ‘In other words, how much government is required is dependent on how much we are truly men and women, and how much we cease to be desperate and disparate isolated elements.’
    reliant on, relying on, counting on, leaning on
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    1. 2.1Unable to do without.
      ‘people dependent on drugs’
      • ‘They are, like most of us, dependent on and incapable of challenging the very way of life that may be killing them.’
      • ‘It's always been a great shame for me to admit that I was as helpless and dependent on her as a child.’
      • ‘Most such women were completely subservient and totally dependent on their families; they were unable to contribute much economically to their family.’
      • ‘In absolute terms our problem stems from being dependent on others because of our historical reliance on our traditional industries.’
      • ‘It showed the vulnerability of many member countries that are dangerously dependent on one supplier.’
      • ‘This makes me feel helpless and is making me dependent on Jazlyn's help.’
      • ‘What most people fear, after all, is a death that comes after repeated aggressive interventions have left them helpless and dependent on technology.’
      • ‘These vulnerable populations remained entirely dependent on assistance from UN agencies and non-governmental organisations.’
      • ‘The most encouraging aspect of the reforms has been their impact on those thought most vulnerable and dependent on welfare.’
      • ‘And for a country so dependent on exports, we're vulnerable if we don't at least try to understand other languages and cultures.’
      • ‘Modern weather forecasts and military defences are dependent on the performance of the batteries in these satellites.’
      • ‘In fact, some policies, such as making our economy more dependent on exports, make us more vulnerable, rather than more self-reliant.’
      • ‘Laurel, a non-smoker, has emphysema, which has left her unable to work and dependent on an oxygen mask for the past five years.’
      • ‘The older universities are most vulnerable because they carry out the most research and are dependent on the cash.’
      • ‘Previously independent, the person may now be weak and dependent on others for even the most basic needs.’
      • ‘Children start off powerless and incapable, dependent on the adults around them for their safety and for the fulfillment of every need.’
      • ‘At the bottom will be society's poorest and most vulnerable people, dependent on over-stretched public hospitals and whatever bulk-billing services remain.’
      • ‘This makes the entire structure vulnerable and dependent on individual decisions on reducing the scope of training reserve officers in some or other specialties.’
      • ‘You are going to make him weak, and dependent on others!’
      • ‘As we become dependent on technology we become vulnerable.’
  • 3Grammar
    (of a clause, phrase, or word) subordinate to another clause, phrase, or word.

    ‘a clause dependent on another clause’
    • ‘Mostly, the relation designated by a plain verb is conceptually dependent.’
    • ‘Where the marker is a suffix on the verb, the dependent clause precedes the independent one, as in.’
    • ‘There's a verb missing in that dependent clause.’
    • ‘The dependent clause following the first period appears to be a sentence fragment.’
    • ‘When a text analysis program determines that writers from one region use more dependent clauses than writers from another region, it is defining kinship.’



On the distinction between dependent and dependant, see dependant


Late Middle English dependant ‘hanging down’, from Old French, present participle of dependre (see depend). The spelling change in the 16th century was due to association with the Latin participial stem dependent-.