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 Many die-hard viewers are sensitive about Rey and Kylo’s relationship, though the reasons for that sensitivity vary depending on the diehard. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Imagining a Better End to The Rise of Skywalker," 4 Jan. 2020 And the nation’s inevitable growth depended on the destruction of its native inhabitants, a huge contradiction of the high principles expressed in the Constitution. John M. Crisp, Twin Cities, "John M. Crisp: America did not come with a guarantee," 26 Dec. 2019 The answer may vary depending on the specifics of your job. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Young and ambitious? Don’t devote nights and weekends to your employer—do this instead," 26 Dec. 2019 And several teams will be depending on their leaders to deliver. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "NFL roundtable: Which players will shape playoff picture most in final two weeks?," 21 Dec. 2019 Outlets like the Times are disposed toward neutral reporting that depends on assuming that their subjects are operating in good faith and telling the truth. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "How the GOP Bamboozled The New York Times’ Politics Desk," 17 Dec. 2019 Prices range from $58 to $318 depending on the size of your bed and color choice. Popular Science, "I tried a bajillion new products this year. Here are 17 you should actually buy.," 16 Dec. 2019 And your enjoyment of it will likely depend on your affection for pratfalls and silliness. Matthew J. Palm,, "‘Play That Goes Wrong’ gets its comedy right | Review," 4 Dec. 2019 And that depends on the depth of the peel, the concentration of glycolic acid used, and the amount of time you were exposed to the peel. Farwa Shah, SELF, "10 Things You Should Know Before Getting a Glycolic Acid Peel," 3 Dec. 2019

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

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Depend.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on depend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for depend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with depend

Spanish Central: Translation of depend

Nglish: Translation of depend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of depend for Arabic Speakers

Comments on depend

What made you want to look up depend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


dull or mediocre

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