dependence

noun
de·​pen·​dence | \ di-ˈpen-dən(t)s How to pronounce dependence (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

By 2016, three-quarters of people with opioid addictions had been prescribed a drug used to treat their dependence. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "U.S. death rates from suicides, alcohol and drug overdoses reach all-time high," 12 June 2019 The argument, reportedly, is that Huawei is currently dependent on Google for its Android smartphone software, and that dependence is a good thing for the US. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Report: Google argues the Huawei ban would hurt its Android monopoly," 7 June 2019 In some of these communities the dependence is so strong that the risk of illness could be as high as 1 in 100. Craig Welch, National Geographic, "More people are eating marine animals—with deadly results," 22 May 2019 That said, the giants’ domestic dependence could be a good thing. Shira Ovide, Bloomberg.com, "America’s Tech Giants Should Enjoy Their Home-Field Advantage," 25 Feb. 2019 Barbiturate dependence was common when the drugs were easily available by prescription, but this has declined dramatically as other drugs have replaced them. Eric Bowman, CNN, "The five most addictive substances in the world," 23 Jan. 2019 America’s shale revolution has broken years of dependence on Middle Eastern oil, to the extent that the International Energy Agency expects the U.S. to become a net energy exporter by 2023. Sarah Mcfarlane And Summer Said, WSJ, "Saudi Arabia Edges Toward Bet on Booming U.S. Energy Sector," 8 Jan. 2019 That's your body building up a tolerance, one component of dependence. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Bella Hadid’s New Year’s Resolution Is to Give Up Her JUUL: 'So Far So Good!'," 8 Jan. 2019 This is an interesting posture to take, as NASA has awarded contracts to SpaceX and Boeing in order to end its dependence on Russian Soyuz rockets—presently the only means by which NASA astronauts can get to the International Space Station. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA concerned about culture of “inappropriateness” at SpaceX," 20 Nov. 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.

See More

First Known Use of dependence

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dependence

Statistics for dependence

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dependence

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce dependence (audio) \

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 How to pronounce dependence (audio) \

Medical Definition of dependence

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on dependence

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

WORD OF THE DAY

showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!