dependence

noun

de·​pen·​dence di-ˈpen-dən(t)s How to pronounce dependence (audio)
variants or less commonly dependance
1
: the quality or state of being dependent
especially : the quality or state of being influenced or determined by or subject to another
2
3
: one that is relied on
4
a
: drug addiction
developed a dependence on painkillers

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web In the aftermath of Russia’s war on Ukraine, even many liberal democracies have backtracked on efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels in order to avert politically destabilizing energy crises at home. Suhasini Raj, New York Times, 5 Nov. 2022 Last week, Germany’s economy minister Robert Habeck told Reuters that the government was efforting a new trade policy with China to reduce dependence on Chinese raw materials, batteries and semiconductors. Michelle Toh, CNN, 3 Nov. 2022 Also, Europe's biggest gas consumer, Germany, is rushing to install at least two LNG terminals for this heating season to reduce dependence on its neighbors. Arkansas Online, 23 Oct. 2022 The pandemic shone a spotlight on the downside of America’s decades-old dependence on foreign chip production. Juliana Liu, CNN, 14 Nov. 2022 The recent lockdowns in China related to the coronavirus pandemic have brought to light Japan's dependence on other nations for computer chips and other key components. Yuri Kageyama, ajc, 11 Nov. 2022 Decreasing Americans’ dependence on cigarettes demanded a widespread attitude adjustment that lawmaking alone couldn’t deliver—a belief that smoking wasn’t just dangerous but societally toxic. Mac Schwerin, The Atlantic, 11 Nov. 2022 Musk has moaned about Twitter’s dependence on ads in the past, but the comments crystalized some of his vision for putting Twitter on the path to profitability. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 11 Nov. 2022 Researchers at Harvard Medical School randomly sampled a database looking at prescriptions for buprenorphine – a drug that treats narcotic dependence – from 2006 to 2020. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 10 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near dependence

Cite this Entry

“Dependence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dependence. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

dependence

noun

de·​pend·​ence
di-ˈpen-dən(t)s
1
: the quality or state of being dependent
especially : the quality or state of being influenced by or subject to another
2
3
: something on which one relies
4
: a drug addiction

Medical Definition

dependence

noun

de·​pen·​dence di-ˈpen-dən(t)s How to pronounce dependence (audio)
1
: the quality or state of being dependent upon or unduly subject to the influence of another
2
a
: drug addiction

More from Merriam-Webster on dependence

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