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

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Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Given the interdependence of modern networks, GNSS is a single point of failure that could have implications across various other services and applications. WIRED, 27 Aug. 2022 China’s latest bout of worrying economic data highlights the global interdependence of financial markets and the importance of the Chinese economy. Hamza Shaban, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Aug. 2022 In addition, while Washington and Beijing are both moving to decouple selectively from one another, their interdependence vastly exceeds that which existed between Washington and Moscow. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 25 July 2022 One potential new approach involves prediction markets powered by AI that can tie policy to impact, taking a holistic view of environmental information and interdependence. Gaurav Tewari, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Coaching your team instead of telling them what to do, or worse, doing the work yourself, will help foster their independence and interdependence on each other. Become an advocate. Sabina Nawaz, WSJ, 4 May 2022 Deal by deal, and despite the constraints of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, pragmatism is making the case for day-to-day cooperation as a foundation for understanding and interdependence. Dina Kraft, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Nov. 2021 His latest book, The Wild Edge, focuses on the interdependence of ecosystems along the Pacific Coast, from the warm waters of Baja to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Kassondra Cloos, Outside Online, 6 Sep. 2016 Nonetheless, the current conflict in Ukraine has again highlighted our global interdependence, sparking threats of food insecurity and pushing crude oil prices to highs not seen since 2008. Suresh Sunderrajan, Forbes, 7 July 2022 See More

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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Word History

First Known Use

1817, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of interdependence was in 1817

Dictionary Entries Near interdependence

Cite this Entry

“Interdependence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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Kids Definition



: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on interdependence

Last Updated: 15 Sep 2022

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