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 interdependence (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 This is a time to nurture and protect our imperfect interdependence, not curate our relationships based on false ideas of who is, or isn’t, worthy of love and support. Kalpana Mohanty, The New Republic, 14 July 2021 Sixty percent of Jewish people in that Zip code live in buildings five stories or more — a fact that augurs greater connectedness and interdependence. Washington Post, 30 June 2021 On the one hand, these relations of interdependence are a critical source of support and solidarity. Hannah J. Dawson, Quartz, 15 June 2021 What makes Biden’s job complex is the fact that our era of competition is fundamentally different from the Cold War, thanks to the high level of interdependence between democracies and autocracies, especially China. Thomas Wright, The Atlantic, 9 June 2021 Like most of the major figures of Catholic social teaching, Maritain placed great emphasis on social solidarity, the organic interdependence of people and communities. David Brooks, Star Tribune, 21 May 2021 The interdependence model is a natural fit for healthcare. Yec, Forbes, 13 May 2021 Here, Morrison breaks down social-media interdependence and insecurity. Armond White, National Review, 19 May 2021 Building process and structure around the formation, collaboration and interdependence within teams is critical to taking creative risks and seizing opportunities. Bryn Mccoy, Forbes, 12 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for interdependence

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The first known use of interdependence was in 1817

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Last Updated

17 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Interdependence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for interdependence


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

More from Merriam-Webster on interdependence

Nglish: Translation of interdependence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of interdependence for Arabic Speakers


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