de·​pend | \ di-ˈpend How to pronounce depend (audio) \
depended; depending; depends

Definition of depend

intransitive verb

1 : to be determined, based, or contingent (see contingent entry 1 sense 1) life depends on food the value of Y depends on X
2 : to be pending or undecided matters of greatest moment were depending— John Milton
3a : to place reliance or trust you can depend on me
b : to be dependent especially for financial support Her family depends on her paycheck. still depends on his parents
4 : to hang down a star was depending from his neck— Arnold Bennett

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Synonyms for depend


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Examples of depend in a Sentence

whether or not we play baseball will depend on how much rain we get I know I can always depend on you for help when I really need it.
Recent Examples on the Web Restrictions will be eased in phases, depending on how quickly infections fall. The Economist, "Politics this week," 16 May 2020 Note: Even with a decline, tax bills could still go up depending on what rates governments set a few months from now. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, "The Watchdog’s 2020 Primer on Your Property Tax/Appraisal Protest," 15 May 2020 Trump administration villains flit in and out of the limelight depending on what particular disaster is most visibly unfolding at any moment. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "Jared Kushner Is a National Disaster," 15 May 2020 Instead of coming to a clinic every day, people deemed stable can take home up to 28 days of medication, depending on state rules. Terry Demio,, "What happens when an ongoing epidemic collides with a pandemic? Some who want to get well falter," 14 May 2020 Intel’s 10-year social responsibility goals are separate from its business ambitions but inextricably linked, as any socially minded improvements will surely depend on Intel’s ability to align them with its financial objectives. oregonlive, "Intel lays out 10-year goal to improve conservation, equity," 14 May 2020 This offers hope, as our future depends on our ability to work together across the aisle and across differences for the common good. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, "See which Ohio members of Congress are most and least bipartisan," 13 May 2020 France’s lockdown is being lifted gradually, region by region, depending on the prevalence of the virus. Washington Post, "Scenes from the Paris metro, as France lifts its coronavirus lockdown," 11 May 2020 In addition to resuming production, Honda announced that all salaried and support associates who have been on furlough will return to work Friday or Monday, depending on location. Elizabeth Depompei, Indianapolis Star, "Honda to start resuming production at U.S. plants Monday," 8 May 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for depend

Middle English, from Anglo-French dependre, modification of Latin dependēre, from de- + pendēre to hang — more at pendant

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Time Traveler for depend

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The first known use of depend was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Depend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce depend (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of depend

informal used in speech in phrases like it depends and that depends to say that the answer to a question will be different in different situations


de·​pend | \ di-ˈpend How to pronounce depend (audio) \
depended; depending

Kids Definition of depend

: to be subject to determination by the situation Are you going to the party? I don't know. It depends.
depend on
1 : to rely for support Children depend on their parents.
2 : to be determined by or based on a person, action, or condition The people had been very proud … that victory or defeat depended on them.— Theodore Taylor, The Cay
3 : trust entry 1 sense 2, rely You can depend on me to get the job done.

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More from Merriam-Webster on depend

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with depend

Spanish Central: Translation of depend

Nglish: Translation of depend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of depend for Arabic Speakers

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