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 Now, their economic dependency on the upscale sport could be their ruin. Denise Hruby, Environment, "In the Alps, ski resorts are desperately battling climate change—and local resistance," 23 Dec. 2020 One clear problem that arose was the dependency of the federal government on private industry. Kirti Shanker, National Review, "Reimagining America’s Infectious-Disease Defense," 26 Oct. 2020 Legitimate concerns exist about U.S. dependency on drugs, medical devices, and supplies manufactured abroad, and the Covid-19 pandemic has brought them into sharp focus. Joy Sturm, STAT, "Navigating the new ‘buy American’ drug landscape: opportunities for some, pitfalls for others," 15 Oct. 2020 Energy shortages and power cuts are commonplace in Ghana, exacerbated by drought conditions because of the country's dependency on hydro-electricity. Eoin Mcsweeney, CNN, "Activists are fighting for a renewable future in Sub-Saharan Africa. Chinese coal projects threaten to dirty those plans," 9 Dec. 2020 Dykes and young Ethan were locked in a co-dependency. CBS News, "How an FBI profiler gets inside the mind of a kidnapper," 6 Oct. 2020 The store is organized under the principle of dignity, not dependency. Beth Thames |, al, "The Neighborhood Store needs your help filling Christmas wishes," 16 Dec. 2020 Ask your therapist to talk to you about co-dependency. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Woman in horrible relationship isn’t sure why she ended up with a narcissistic jerk," 6 Dec. 2020 Ansari spent nine days in a high dependency unit on 100% oxygen for respiratory failure. Emma Reynolds, Hira Humayun And Justin Lear, CNN, "'Light at the end of a long dark tunnel.' UK residents respond to mass vaccine rollout," 10 Dec. 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

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dependency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on dependency

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