in·ter·de·pen·dence | \ˌin-tər-di-ˈpen-dən(t)s \
variants: or interdependency \ˌin-tər-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē \
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

At the plan’s start, the team argued, North Korea and the United States had to find ways to build trust and interdependence, calling that a prerequisite for long-term denuclearization. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "As Bolton Says North Korea Could Disarm in a Year, Reality Lags Promises," 1 July 2018 Yet an end to Sino-American interdependence is not inevitable. The Economist, "Sino-American interdependence has been a force for geopolitical stability," 23 June 2018 Murray said Wellington has already struck a healthy balance and interdependence between the equestrian and non-equestrian communities and has been successful in branding the community as one of the world leaders in equestrian sports. Austen Erblat,, "Wellington Equestrian Preserve Committee criticizes economic impact study results," 8 June 2018 The Brando has also built and gifted an eco-station to the Tetiaroa Society, the nonprofit organization established to lead the scientific and cultural mission to protect the atoll and to inspire sustainable interdependence. Jill K. Robinson,, "Going green: Can we travel the world without killing the planet?," 21 June 2018 At that point, the interdependence idea was just a personal philosophy, their approach to life. Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle, "Museum’s ‘Big Bambú’ installation invites physical interaction," 8 June 2018 China also remains somewhat reliant on big-budget U.S. films to keep its cinemas filled year-round, a form of mutual interdependence that should supply some measure of insulation — at least for now. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "Will Hollywood Get Caught in Trump's China Trade War Crossfire?," 13 July 2018 Children can encounter these members of the community — birds and plants — and learn about their interdependence in this public garden’s programs on Saturday and Sunday. Laurel Graeber, New York Times, "8 Things to Do With Your Kids in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 17 May 2018 On the other hand, the same force that makes an actual war between China and the U.S. unlikely — the profound interdependence of their national economies — also reduces the likelihood of an extended trade war. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "On Eve of Trade War, China Warns That Trump’s Tariffs Will Backfire," 5 July 2018

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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3 Oct 2018

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The first known use of interdependence was in 1817

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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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Spanish Central: Translation of interdependence

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Britannica English: Translation of interdependence for Arabic Speakers

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What made you want to look up interdependence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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