in·​ter·​de·​pen·​dence | \ ˌin-tər-di-ˈpen-dən(t)s How to pronounce interdependence (audio) \
variants: or interdependency \ ˌin-​tər-​di-​ˈpen-​dən(t)-​sē How to pronounce interdependency (audio) \
plural interdependences or interdependencies

Definition of interdependence

1 : the state of being dependent upon one another : mutual dependence interdependence of the two nations' economies … a form of symbiosis, of close mutual interdependence of two species of organisms.— Marston Bates … the deep psychological interdependence between ourselves and those we love.— Judith A. Savage … understood the interdependence of mental, physical, and spiritual health.— Donald N. Levine But plants happen to grow in these little universes we call ecosystems, where they are sustained by complex webs of interdependency with fungi, microbes, animals, and other plants.— Kenneth Brower
2 : a mutually dependent relationship Growing global interdependencies further muddy the debate, making it harder to know who "we" are and what "our" national interests really are.— Peter H. Schuck There are complex interdependences among these factors …— Victor H. Benenberg

Examples of interdependence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For me, plant medicine is all about relationship and interdependence, the way our bodies and experiences happen in conversation with plants. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "The Herbal Mutual Aid Network Creates Free Tinctures for Black Organizers," 6 Aug. 2020 Early Americans expected that while each branch would be sovereign and independent of the other, there would also be collaboration, cooperation, and interdependence to carry out the people’s work. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Elena Kagan’s Fiery Defense of the Administrative State," 2 July 2020 One of the best ways to incentivize empathy, Lerner said, is to create interdependence between people. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Empathy is both a trait and a skill. Here's how to strengthen it," 24 June 2020 As for Mr Biden, in Beijing he is called a member of the former ruling establishment that saw economic interdependence with China as a source of stability, not danger. The Economist, "Chaguan Elites in Beijing see America in decline, hastened by Trump," 11 June 2020 Mr Guterres set up a high-level panel, co-chaired by Jack Ma and Melinda Gates (philanthropists of, respectively, Alibaba and Microsoft fame), to draw up a report on digital interdependence. The Economist, "Reflections at 75 The UN is mobilising for the next quarter-century," 18 June 2020 For Shantideva and his fellow Mahayana Buddhists – the predominant branch of Buddhism in north and central Asia – this involves cultivating a wise understanding of the interdependence of things and a compassionate concern for all sentient beings. Matthew Mackenzie, The Conversation, "Indian philosophy helps us see clearly, act wisely in an interconnected world," 10 June 2020 What began as a wary relationship between two very different women slowly evolves into one of trust and interdependence. Anne Cohen,, "The Final Moments Of Shirley, Explained," 9 June 2020 The policy also reflects the interdependence of the two economies. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "Hong Kong eases travel restrictions—but only for its business elite," 8 June 2020

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

1817, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of interdependence was in 1817

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Last Updated

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Interdependence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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in·​ter·​de·​pen·​dence | \ ˌin-tər-di-ˈpen-dəns \

Kids Definition of interdependence

: the quality or state of depending on one another … they would have to help each other dress and would learn interdependence.— Lois Lowry, The Giver

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Britannica English: Translation of interdependence for Arabic Speakers

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