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 Those are known as chimeras, and they will be variegated depending on where the new plant forms. Neil Sperry,, "Night-blooming cereus can be repotted now if you have a greenhouse," 14 Nov. 2019 Pay for the off-duty officers is about $50 per hour depending on their rank, or about double their hourly wage. Washington Post, "Walmart hires off-duty officers ahead of El Paso reopening," 14 Nov. 2019 The new law also guarantees eight years of savings of between 10% and 100% in the personal injury protection (PIP) portion of the auto insurance bill, depending on what level of medical coverage is selected. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "No-fault claims fee to drop 55% under new Michigan law; many motorists will pay nothing," 13 Nov. 2019 This can happen at different paces depending on the relationship. Emily Simone, Allure, "A Beginner’s Guide to Astrological Rising Signs and What They Mean," 12 Nov. 2019 Trading Belt would give the Giants added flexibility on the field and with the payroll, depending on how much of his contract another team would absorb. John Shea,, "Trading first baseman Brandon Belt could make sense for Giants," 11 Nov. 2019 Surgery could be an option depending on the extent of the fracture., "Hayward, two games removed from scoring his career high, sustained the injury when he collided with San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge, who turned his back to set a screen on Hayward. Hayward appeared to fracture the hand when he reached out and bent his arm back as he ran into Aldridge.," 10 Nov. 2019 Ticket prices range from $50 to $75 depending on date, time and departure location. Linda Marx,, "All Aboard! You Can Ride the Polar Express this Christmas Aboard Richard Branson's Train Line," 8 Nov. 2019 Key daily skincare products are a gentle cleanser for face and a different one for body, facial moisturizer with SPF in the morning, and either a moisturizing lotion or cream (depending how dry your face is) at night. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "Derms Weigh In on Reddit’s Weirdest Skin Confessions," 8 Nov. 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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Statistics for depend

Last Updated

17 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for depend

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

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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).


to speed up the process or progress of

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