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 The country is both a major polluter and at major potential risk from climate change, and its leaders have invested heavily in geoengineering research alongside renewable energy and slowly moving away from China's dependency on coal. James Griffiths, CNN, "Rich countries aren't stopping climate change. Can poor nations save themselves?," 9 Sep. 2019 There is also a worrying dependency on Zaha to bail them out of any trouble., "Crystal Palace 2019/20 Season Preview: Strengths, Weaknesses, Key Man & Predictions," 8 Aug. 2019 It’s defined as a persistent compulsive dependency on a behavior or substance that harms the user. Ezra Klein, Vox, "Is Big Tech addictive? A debate with Nir Eyal.," 7 Aug. 2019 There’s a tension, though, between her vision for Iceland’s climate leadership and the country’s growing dependency on aviation. Ciara Nugent, Time, "Iceland's Prime Minister Talks Climate Change and Gender Equality Over Ice Cream," 25 July 2019 Co-housing, where residents create and manage intentional neighborhoods, has become more popular in recent years, especially among seniors looking for alternatives to dependency on their families or institutions. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, "Want to live in the city? Try buying a house with five friends.," 12 June 2019 My love for running was replaced by a dependency on stimulants to get me from responsibility to responsibility. Amy Rushlow, SELF, "Running Changed My Life When I Was a Teen—and Now It’s Helping Me Find Myself Again," 26 July 2018 From a Latin word referring to enslavement, addiction is a compulsive dependency that harms the affected individual. Wired, "The Danger of Thinking We’re All ‘Addicted’ to Tech," 13 Sep. 2019 Marijuana doesn’t come without potential harms, one concern being something called cannabis use disorder, in which around 9 percent of users develop a dependency. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The Heady, Thorny Journey to Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms," 10 June 2019

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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Statistics for dependency

Last Updated

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for dependency

The first known use of dependency was in 1594

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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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to spread as a report or rumor

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