adjective de·pen·dent \di-ˈpen-dənt\

: decided or controlled by something else

: needing someone or something else for support, help, etc.

: addicted to alcohol or a drug

Full Definition of DEPENDENT

:  hanging down
a :  determined or conditioned by another :  contingent <plans that are dependent on the weather>
b (1) :  relying on another for support <dependent children>
(2) :  affected with a drug dependence
c :  subject to another's jurisdiction <a dependent territory>
d :  subordinate 3a <dependent clauses>
a :  not mathematically or statistically independent <a dependent set of vectors> <dependent events>
b :  equivalent 6a <dependent equations>
de·pen·dent·ly adverb

Examples of DEPENDENT

  1. He has been alcohol dependent for several years.
  2. <the dependent willow branches swayed in the gentle breeze>


Middle English dependant, from Anglo-French, present participle of dependre
First Known Use: 14th century


noun \-dənt\

: a person (such as a child) whose food, clothing, etc., you are responsible for providing

Full Definition of DEPENDENT

archaic :  dependency
:  one that is dependent; especially :  a person who relies on another for support

Variants of DEPENDENT

dependent also de·pen·dant \-dənt\

Examples of DEPENDENT

  1. The insurance provides coverage for workers and their dependents.
  2. a person's spouse and dependents
  3. Do you have any dependents?

First Known Use of DEPENDENT

May 24, 2015
erudite Hear it
learned or pedantic
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