de·​pen·​den·​cy | \ di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē \
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

The social-democratic Siumut party of outgoing prime minister Kim Kielsen won the most votes in parliamentary elections held in Greenland, a scarcely populated dependency of Denmark rich in untapped natural resources. Nick Rigillo,, "Social Democrats Edge Socialist Rivals in Greenland Vote," 25 Apr. 2018 Qatar also has its sights set on utilizing soccer's showcase event to nurture new industries and businesses that will help diversify its economy away from oil and gas dependency. Eoghan Macguire, CNN, "World Cup 2022: Meet the Qataris making the most of soccer's showcase," 3 June 2018 Stone initially created a nonprofit called Stone’s House and planned to dub the wet house Marvin’s House after his father, but was inspired after a local resident named Dann died after struggling with homelessness and alcohol dependency. Aleanna Siacon, Detroit Free Press, "Why this Traverse City homeless shelter lets alcoholics drink," 29 May 2018 Employment rates of non-disabled working-age adults have been stunted, and their dependency on welfare programs has grown. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Social Security, food stamps, and other programs kept 44 million people out of poverty last year," 12 Sep. 2018 The goal of our education system should be to ensure successful transitions from youth dependency to independent adulthood and successful family formation. Anthony P. Carnevale, Washington Post, "The Education and Labor departments were made for each other," 22 June 2018 Snaps are also useful for developers because Snaps contain all their own dependencies. Scott Gilbertson, Ars Technica, "The 2018 XPS 13 Developer’s Edition—Have it your way on a “just works” Linux laptop," 12 Dec. 2018 Mitigating circumstances: Mental illness, paranoid personality disorder, anxiety disorder, severe drug dependency, difficult childhood, toxic parenting, bad report cards, impulsive, mother had chemotherapy, sister was killed. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana death row holds 11 prisoners," 31 Jan. 2014 In King County, the state’s most populous, the total number of dependency cases grew by 54 percent from 2009 to 2014. Heidi Groover, The Seattle Times, "Washington Attorney General Ferguson says opioid abuse a frequent factor in child-welfare cases," 10 Oct. 2018

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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Last Updated

13 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for dependency

The first known use of dependency was in 1594

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More Definitions for dependency



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 \
plural dependencies

Medical Definition of dependency

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esteemed in general opinion

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