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 Long term, movie-theater chains also have to contend with consumers’ increasing reliance on streaming services, which allow producers such as Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc. to bring films directly to audiences at home. Matt Grossman, WSJ, "Theater Chain AMC Says It Could Run Out of Cash by Year-End," 13 Oct. 2020 Infectious disease experts have suggested that an over-reliance on testing protocols most likely led to the COVID-19 outbreak that affected 34 people, including President Trump. Aidin Vaziri,, "Rapid at-home coronavirus tests are coming soon. Will they be a game-changer?," 12 Oct. 2020 Michigan's heavy reliance on the steel and auto industries puts Trump's trade policy in sharp focus ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election in this battleground state. NBC News, "Trump steel tariffs raised prices, shriveled up demand, led to job losses, some Michigan workers say," 9 Oct. 2020 Historically, Indiana’s reliance on coal has kept energy prices low, and the state has used its cheaper-than-average energy to attract businesses. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, "Energy, rollbacks and climate change: Where Holcomb and Myers differ on environmental issues," 8 Oct. 2020 The Aztecs’ reliance on the run, coupled with injuries to Washington the past two years, provided plenty of opportunities for others to get a running start in the competition. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Aztecs football notebook: Field trip planned to Dignity Health Sports Park," 7 Oct. 2020 This is partly due to Hollywood’s increasing reliance on blockbusters. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Pandemic Is Defeating Hollywood Blockbusters," 22 Sep. 2020 Platforms’ reliance on the press to police their own policies amounts to whack-a-mole enforcement, with little transparency and even less consistency. Shannon Mcgregor, Wired, "What Even Is ‘Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior’ on Platforms?," 17 Sep. 2020 Although the outage only lasted a few hours, the breakdown heightened awareness about society’s increasing reliance on Zoom. Michael Liedtke,, "You know who’s had a good pandemic quarantine? Zoom.," 1 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for reliance

Time Traveler

The first known use of reliance was in 1606

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Statistics for reliance

Last Updated

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reliance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for reliance


How to pronounce reliance (audio)

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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