de·​pend | \ di-ˈpend How to pronounce depend (audio) \
depended; depending; depends

Definition of depend

intransitive verb

1 : to be determined, based, or contingent (see contingent entry 1 sense 1) life depends on food the value of Y depends on X
2 : to be pending or undecided matters of greatest moment were depending— John Milton
3a : to place reliance or trust you can depend on me
b : to be dependent especially for financial support Her family depends on her paycheck. still depends on his parents
4 : to hang down a star was depending from his neck— Arnold Bennett

Synonyms for depend


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Examples of depend in a Sentence

whether or not we play baseball will depend on how much rain we get I know I can always depend on you for help when I really need it.
Recent Examples on the Web Science says that can depend on the outcome or final result of that decision. Nuala Walsh, Forbes, 4 May 2022 State residents will have free access without reservations, but entry might depend on whether parking spaces are left. Forrest Brown, CNN, 25 Apr. 2022 Your answer will depend on several factors, some of which might be logistical. Stephanie Watson, SELF, 21 Apr. 2022 The malaria parasite is spread by mosquitoes, which are cold-blooded and depend on the ambient air temperature to set the pace of their metabolism; malaria risk, then, tends to increase as the temperature gets hotter. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 20 Apr. 2022 The problem is existential: tourism and the fishing industry are the pillars of the economy, and the country's 100,000 people depend on a healthy marine ecosystem for their livelihoods. Dobrina Zhekova, Travel + Leisure, 19 Apr. 2022 That deadline may be accelerated, because a decision to join NATO would have to pass Parliament with a solid majority, and that would depend on the Social Democrats shifting their position, Ms. Wieslander said. New York Times, 13 Apr. 2022 Levitt said North City is roughly about 10 or 15 percent built out, and its final completion will depend on the market. Gary Warth, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Apr. 2022 Each state would have two Senators, and the number of members of the House of Representatives would depend on the population of each state. oregonlive, 31 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'depend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of depend

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for depend

Middle English, from Anglo-French dependre, modification of Latin dependēre, from de- + pendēre to hang — more at pendant

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Time Traveler for depend

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The first known use of depend was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Depend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for depend


de·​pend | \ di-ˈpend How to pronounce depend (audio) \
depended; depending

Kids Definition of depend

: to be subject to determination by the situation Are you going to the party? I don't know. It depends.
depend on
1 : to rely for support Children depend on their parents.
2 : to be determined by or based on a person, action, or condition The people had been very proud … that victory or defeat depended on them.— Theodore Taylor, The Cay
3 : trust entry 1 sense 2, rely You can depend on me to get the job done.

More from Merriam-Webster on depend

Nglish: Translation of depend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of depend for Arabic Speakers


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