re·​li·​ance | \ ri-ˈlī-ən(t)s How to pronounce reliance (audio) \

Definition of reliance

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

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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

Even worse, the lack of a solar alternative naturally just increases reliance on smog-generating fossil fuels and could serve to lock entire regions into a vicious cycle. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Smog Can Cripple Solar Farms," 29 Aug. 2018 The doctored photo of the Army accident in Lithuania was just the latest reminder of what American officials called Russia’s increasing reliance on cyberattacks and information warfare to keep its rivals off balance. Eric Schmitt, New York Times, "In Eastern Europe, U.S. Military Girds Against Russian Might and Manipulation," 27 June 2018 Should we be focused on the American ideal of individual liberty and individual responsibility, or is the best path for Californians an ever increasing reliance on state government? sacbee, "Antonia Hernandez," 27 June 2018 The current-account deficit has widened to $5.4bn in April (over 6% of GDP when annualised), up from $3.7bn a year earlier, increasing Turkey’s reliance on volatile portfolio inflows. The Economist, "Surrender your dollars, urges Turkey’s President Erdogan," 14 June 2018 The existence of such a collaboration is not surprising given the digital threats the financial sector faces every day and the government's increasing reliance on the private sector for information about critical infrastructure. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "Security News This Week: T-Mobile Web Portal Exposed 74 Million Accounts," 26 May 2018 Our increased reliance on the internet has created new threats and vulnerabilities to our nation’s infrastructure and our way of life. The Christian Science Monitor, "Why web users are ‘norm entrepreneurs’," 14 Mar. 2018 As chains such as Macy’s Inc., J.C. Penney Co. and Sears Holdings Corp. have retrenched by closing hundreds of stores in recent years, with some even going out of business, brands such as Levi are looking to lessen their reliance on the channel. Suzanne Kapner And Maureen Farrell, WSJ, "Levi Strauss Looks Beyond Jeans With IPO," 13 Feb. 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics: Asked 60,000 households about their reliance on alternative arrangements for their main job, including temp agency work, on-call work, contracted work and freelancing, in the past week. Rani Molla, Recode, "The U.S. government doesn’t know how big the gig economy is," 24 July 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.

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First Known Use of reliance

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for reliance

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reliance

The first known use of reliance was in 1606

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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 How to pronounce reliance (audio) \

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 How to pronounce reliance (audio) \

Legal Definition of reliance

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

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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).


an act or instance of returning to life

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