re·​li·​ance | \ ri-ˈlī-ən(t)s \

Definition of reliance

1 : the act of relying : the state of being reliant
2 : something or someone relied on

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of reliance in a Sentence

he's been the family's foremost reliance in times of trouble many times a baby's reliance on her parents

Recent Examples on the Web

Rogozin’s reliance on the Angara-5 rocket, as a basis of the program, is also not without a big caveat. Anatoly Zak, Popular Mechanics, "Russia Is Riled Up About Being Left Behind in Space," 10 Oct. 2018 The heavy reliance on informants is particularly glaring, given the potential that some are motivated by personal grudges. Hamza Hendawi, Washington Post, "A neighbor’s word can bring death sentence in Iraq IS trials," 9 July 2018 Robert Weissman, the president of Public Citizen, a nonprofit ethics group, said that Mr. Pruitt’s reliance on Ms. Hupp was a violation of federal ethics rules. New York Times, "Aide Sought a New Apartment for Scott Pruitt, and an ‘Old Mattress’ From Trump Hotel," 4 June 2018 Flex allows Amazon to cut costs by reducing its reliance on FedEx, UPS, and the Postal Service, whose unionized drivers receive higher pay than their Flex counterparts. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Amazon is cutting costs with its own delivery service — but its drivers don’t receive benefits," 26 Dec. 2018 Amazon’s plans for its own-branded delivery service are moving ahead, as the company seeks to reduce its reliance on established delivery services like FedEx (fdx, -3.01%) and UPS (ups, -1.08%). David Meyer, Fortune, "Amazon Wants to Help Entrepreneurs Start Businesses—That Deliver Amazon Packages," 28 June 2018 PacifiCorp last year announced a 20-year plan to sharply reduce its reliance on coal and increase investments in renewables and energy efficiency. Rob Nikolewski,, "Why coal is a big part of the debate over California moving into a regional power grid," 26 June 2018 Another reason, Wadel suggested anecdotally, could be Alaskans' reliance on Alaska Airlines and its credit card. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Report: Alaska’s recession hasn’t taken a toll on household debt," 5 June 2018 That’s true of any personal styling service, but the difference with Stitch Fix is its reliance on the algorithm. Cam Wolf, GQ, "Stitch Fix Thinks It Can Hack Your Style," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reliance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of reliance

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reliance

Statistics for reliance

Last Updated

15 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reliance

The first known use of reliance was in 1606

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for reliance



English Language Learners Definition of reliance

: the state of needing someone or something for help, support, etc.


re·​li·​ance | \ ri-ˈlī-əns \

Kids Definition of reliance

: the act or state of depending on someone or something The nation's reliance on petroleum is growing.


re·​li·​ance | \ ri-ˈlī-əns \

Legal Definition of reliance

1 : the act of relying reliance on a promise
2 : reliance interest at interest 1

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on reliance

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


very full or close together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!