dependence

noun de·pen·dence \ di-ˈpen-dən(t)s \
variants: or less commonly dependance

Definition of dependence

1 : the quality or state of being dependent; especially : the quality or state of being influenced or determined by or subject to another
3 : one that is relied on
4 a : drug addiction
  • developed a dependence on painkillers
b : habituation 2b

Examples of dependence in a Sentence

  1. The company was hurt by its dependence on government loans.

  2. Our dependence upon foreign oil makes our economy vulnerable.

  3. a harmful dependence on foreign oil

Recent Examples of dependence from the Web

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

First Known Use of dependence

15th century


DEPENDENCE Defined for English Language Learners

dependence

noun

Definition of dependence for English Language Learners

  • : the state of needing something or someone else for support, help, etc.

  • : the state of being addicted to alcohol or a drug


DEPENDENCE Defined for Kids

dependence

noun de·pen·dence \ di-ˈpen-dəns \

Definition of dependence for Students

1 : a condition of being influenced and caused by something else
2 : a state of having to rely on someone or something
  • dependence on charity
3 : 2trust 1, reliance
4 : addiction to drugs or alcohol

Medical Dictionary

dependence

noun de·pen·dence \ di-ˈpen-dən(t)s \

medical Definition of dependence

1 : the quality or state of being dependent upon or unduly subject to the influence of another
2 a : drug addiction
b : habituation 2b


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to remove or wipe out

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!