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
4a : drug addiction developed a dependence on painkillers

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Examples of dependence in a Sentence

The company was hurt by its dependence on government loans. Our dependence upon foreign oil makes our economy vulnerable. a harmful dependence on foreign oil
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Recent Examples on the Web

In the last year and a half, Instacart has reduced its dependence on Whole Foods by signing delivery deals with giant chains like Kroger, Aldi, Sam’s Club and Walmart Canada. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Facebook wants you to buy — and watch — HBO on Facebook," 14 Dec. 2018 But this initiative also reduces the company’s dependence on the artificially low, cross-globe shipping rates that Wish relied on for its early success. Jason Del Rey, Recode, "Trump’s latest China threat could crush the $8 billion Amazon competitor Wish. Here’s its plan to fight back.," 18 Oct. 2018 But there are three reasons to worry: a lack of innovation in local firms, a coming demographic squeeze and an over-dependence on foreigners, especially German ones, to drive development. The Economist, "Central Europe’s Goldilocks economies," 5 July 2018 Some have turned to unregulated alternatives such as kratom, which the Drug Enforcement Administration warns could cause dependence and psychotic symptoms. Anchorage Daily News, "Unintended consequences: Inside the fallout of America’s crackdown on opioids," 17 June 2018 This over-dependence on China comes with a perennial risk: a repeat of 2013-2014, when the Chinese authorities clamped down on corrupt gift-giving, or 2016, when Chinese consumer confidence and spending power was hit by the renminbi devaluation. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "The Reborn Bling Dynasty in China," 7 June 2018 Some have turned to unregulated alternatives such as kratom, which the Drug Enforcement Administration warns could cause dependence and psychotic symptoms. Bonnie Jo Mount, Washington Post, "Inside the fallout of America’s crackdown on opioids," 31 May 2018 Having identified a sequence containing the calcium-dependence gene, the researchers cloned it and injected it into a microbe that can be cultured. Sarah Kaplan, ajc, "Scientists discover potentially powerful new antibiotic in dirt," 13 Feb. 2018 Carnivore enthusiasts tout the life-changing benefits of their diet and lifestyle demands, which includes sole dependence on beef, water, and salt (plus bourbon, according the diet’s guru, Mikhaila Petersen). Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "The Best (And Worst!) Diets of 2019, According to a Registered Dietitian," 10 Dec. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of dependence

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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

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More Definitions for dependence

dependence

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dependence

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

: the state of being addicted to alcohol or a drug

dependence

noun
de·​pen·​dence | \ di-ˈpen-dəns \

Kids Definition of dependence

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
4 : addiction to drugs or alcohol

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
2a : drug addiction

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