de·​pen·​den·​cy | \ di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē How to pronounce dependency (audio) \
plural dependencies

Definition of dependency

2 : something that is dependent on something else especially : a territorial unit under the jurisdiction of a nation but not formally annexed by it
3 : a building (such as a stable) that is an adjunct to a main dwelling

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Examples of dependency in a Sentence

the country's dependency on foreign oil a dependency on foreign oil
Recent Examples on the Web Signal Fails, an anonymous zine recently published on several anarchist Web sites, warns against dependency on a centralized service, particularly one running on mobile devices. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "Taking Back Our Privacy," 19 Oct. 2020 However, dependency on one employer in a downturn can send us back to work sooner. Carol Fishman Cohen, NBC News, "To the 865,000 women who left the workforce last month …," 16 Oct. 2020 Stabilization requires breaking our dependency on oil revenue. Anchorage Daily News, "Candidate Q&A: Alaska Senate District J — Tom Begich," 3 Oct. 2020 As part of his holistic practice, Moon offered Suboxone treatments to help fight opioid dependency. Carol Robinson |, al, "Vestavia Hills doctor gets 30 years in prison for child porn, secretly recording teens undressing," 1 Oct. 2020 The crash was so traumatic that Robinson does not drive, creating a rare dependency in someone who is otherwise almost entirely self-sufficient. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, "Marilynne Robinson’s Essential American Stories," 25 Sep. 2020 Such a community reflects an understanding of mutual dependency and interest in the welfare of one another. David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, "This week in Mormon Land: Nelson turns 96, predicting the next apostles and temples, and a new anti-Trump push," 10 Sep. 2020 And now, the coronavirus crisis risks sending millions more people down the road to medication dependency. Adnan Asar, Fortune, "Postponing elective surgeries due to COVID-19 might have pushed the opioid crisis to the next level," 8 Aug. 2020 The 45-year-old licensed chemical dependency counselor starting drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana at age 17. Allison Hatfield, Dallas News, "At Nexus Recovery Center in Dallas, women learn that sobriety can be rewarding," 8 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dependency.' 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 dependency

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for dependency

Time Traveler

The first known use of dependency was in 1594

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Statistics for dependency

Last Updated

26 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dependency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for dependency


How to pronounce dependency (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dependency

: the quality of being dependent
: an area that is controlled by a country but that is not formally a part of it


de·​pen·​den·​cy | \ -dən-sē How to pronounce dependency (audio) \
plural dependencies

Medical Definition of dependency

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