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

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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 Some of their ability to get things done will depend on the outcome of two runoff U.S. Senate elections in Georgia on Jan. 5. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, "Rebuilding economy and infrastructure after coronavirus are among New Year’s resolutions for Ohio’s Congress members," 3 Jan. 2021 Much will depend on the strength of the U.S. recovery. Sebastian Pellejero, WSJ, "Gold Investors See Challenges Ahead After Glittery 2020," 31 Dec. 2020 Final proof of its effectiveness will depend on publication of more data. Time, "China Gives Conditional Approval to the Sinopharm Vaccine," 31 Dec. 2020 Final proof of its effectiveness will depend on publication of more data. Arkansas Online, "China OKs 1st homegrown vaccine as covid-19 surges globally," 31 Dec. 2020 That game's matchup will depend on the playoff picture. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "NHL television schedule: Season will start with NBCSN tripleheader," 30 Dec. 2020 Apache pilots will depend on if they’re ever forced down behind enemy lines. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Here's What's in an Apache Helicopter Survival Kit," 30 Dec. 2020 Keeping the lines pointed in the right direction may depend increasingly on Snapchat finding ways to make money in India and other new markets. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, "Snapchat can thank India for its soaring stock price," 29 Dec. 2020 This will depend on various factors such as how extensively the organization used the SolarWinds software, how segmented its networks are, and the nature of their software maintenance cycle. Paulo Shakarian, The Conversation, "The Sunburst hack was massive and devastating – 5 observations from a cybersecurity expert," 29 Dec. 2020

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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Depend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce depend (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of depend

informal used in speech in phrases like it depends and that depends to say that the answer to a question will be different in different situations


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.

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