Definition of rely in English:



  • 1 Depend on with full trust or confidence.

    ‘I know I can rely on your discretion’
    • ‘And he is confident that his faithful friend can be relied upon to get him there if all other travel plans fail.’
    • ‘Yes, I know that it is lovely and thrilling to be relied upon and confided in.’
    • ‘Instead, the majority of voters seem to rely on authority figures telling them how they should vote.’
    • ‘The employee would be relying upon certain implied contractual terms such as that of trust and confidence and the duty to provide a safe working environment.’
    • ‘If the government is relying on polls to gauge public support, it will be very confused.’
    • ‘Is it clear to you to what extent you can trust your eyes and to what extent you can rely on them?’
    • ‘It had previously relied on other banks to act on its behalf on an agency basis.’
    • ‘However, in our scenario, the bank simply relies upon Annabel's signature as evidence that she visited an independent advisor.’
    • ‘Like other clients, she had relied on their advice and integrity, she trusted them.’
    • ‘His friend did not believe in chances nor did he believe in relying on anyone else.’
    • ‘Banks rely on us being a bit lazy, a bit afraid of change, and a bit ignorant about what is available.’
    • ‘Of course not, and many campaigners who give their lives to demanding more could be relied on to say so.’
    • ‘The investigating public is concerned to rely upon them as providing a true and fair picture of the financial state of a company in which members of the public might be interested to invest.’
    • ‘A fiduciary is someone in a position of trust who is relied upon by a vulnerable person.’
    • ‘As members of a society, we cope with these complexities and uncertainties by relying on trust.’
    • ‘As for memoirs, even if there are any, they cannot always be trusted or relied upon.’
    • ‘As an artist I rely upon the support and patronage of a public audience; I rely upon my words and images being seen as I created them.’
    • ‘Whatever leadership and vision can be found in the private sector cannot be relied upon as genuine, and cannot be trusted.’
    • ‘This is a situation where an ally, the United States, can rely upon us, can trust upon us.’
    • ‘It is impossible to grasp them in full by relying on a single, specific example.’
    depend, count, bank, place reliance, bargain, plan, reckon
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    1. 1.1Be dependent on.
      ‘the charity has to rely entirely on public donations’
      • ‘The few remaining teachers rely solely on donations from various sources for their survival.’
      • ‘The charity relies on donations to provide its services free to clients.’
      • ‘There is more than just the pieces you have, the entire game relies upon the manner in which you use those pieces.’
      • ‘For those people who rely on income support (social assistance), their income support is way too low.’
      • ‘The public relies on the watchdog role of the press to be informed about their political leaders.’
      • ‘The program still relies on volunteers to help publicize and finance the building.’
      • ‘They become destitute and homeless, relying on charity for shelter and food.’
      • ‘You would think we would not have to rely upon public assistance to make ends meet.’
      • ‘This furnace differed from the previous one in that it did not rely upon the air surrounding the furnace for the air required by its combustion chamber.’
      • ‘This solution requires cooperation between producers and government, but it also relies upon market forces.’
      • ‘The charity relies upon voluntary support to provide the majority of their annual costs and support like this is very important to them.’
      • ‘The school still relies heavily on donations from the community to pay the salaries of seven of its 27 teachers.’
      • ‘Morocco is dependent on imported fuel for most of its energy needs, and also relies on imports to meet food requirements.’
      • ‘So to single it out is to ignore the fact that today's society demands and relies upon such packaging.’
      • ‘But crew training should be centrally funded, not relying upon donations from the general public.’
      • ‘She didn't own a car herself and relied on public transportation and friends to get around town.’
      • ‘Even branded goods are sometimes forced to rely on that elasticity of demand to boost flagging sales.’
      • ‘However, we still rely entirely on the generosity of the public for funding.’
      • ‘Coherence in language relies in part on basic devices like number agreement.’
      • ‘Instead, she should recognize that the body requires more than just food and that the body politic relies upon harmonious social relations for its health.’
      be dependent, depend, lean, hinge, turn, hang, rest, pivot, be contingent
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Middle English: from Old French relier bind together, from Latin religare, from re- (expressing intensive force) + ligare bind. The original sense was ‘gather together’, later ‘turn to, associate with’, whence ‘depend upon with confidence’.