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

In an ideal world, Green’s dream is about self-resilience and a desire for interdependence for communities of color. Cheryl Morrow, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Someone San Diego Should Know: Olivia Green," 8 July 2019 By contrast, wishing others well helps us to recognize our interdependence, thereby fostering a greater sense of connectedness. The Conversation,, "Does Alex Trebek prove ‘thoughts and prayers’ actually work?," 22 June 2019 Since the 1990s, and especially since the return of Hong Kong’s sovereignty to mainland China in 1997, the fortunes of Hong Kong’s business elites have become increasingly linked to the mainland as investment and economic interdependence deepened. Bethany Allen-ebrahimian, The New Republic, "The Depressing Reality Behind Hong Kong’s Protests," 20 June 2019 The movie, a dramatization of life in the Chino prison, depicts friendships forged across racial lines and built on trust and interdependence. Dana Walters, The Conversation, "When America had an open prison – the story of Kenyon Scudder and his ‘prison without walls’," 14 June 2019 Mid-century American political culture was dominated by New Deal thinking, which prized everything that Rand despised: the welfare state, empathy, interdependence. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Persistent Ghost of Ayn Rand, the Forebear of Zombie Neoliberalism," 6 June 2019 This new cold war, combining hostility with deep interdependence, is clearly a puzzling one for the U.S., and disturbing to our stock market. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "What to Do About Huawei?," 11 Dec. 2018 In it, the governors and premiers acknowledged the economic interdependence across the region and contribution of cross-border trade to their states’ and provinces’ economic prosperity. Lisa Rathke, The Seattle Times, "Northeast governors, eastern Canada premiers meet in Vermont," 13 Aug. 2018 Nor are most Democrats ardent antiglobalists wary of the growing interdependence and the encroaching economic integration of the world. James Bacchus, WSJ, "Democrats, Free Trade Is Your Destiny," 3 Dec. 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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Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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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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Britannica English: Translation of interdependence for Arabic Speakers

Comments on interdependence

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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