rely

verb

re·​ly ri-ˈlī How to pronounce rely (audio)
relied; relying

intransitive verb

1
: to be dependent
the system on which we rely for water
2
: to have confidence based on experience
someone you can rely on
relier noun

Examples of rely in a Sentence

rigorously tested the rope before starting out, for the rock climbers would be relying on it with their very lives
Recent Examples on the Web Schelling also recommends relying on internal networks and communities, like employee resource groups (ERGs), to obtain candid feedback on benefits catering to specific demographics. Paige McGlauflin, Fortune, 1 Apr. 2024 The Service Employees International Union, a champion of the law, said that California fast-food workers are more than twice as likely to live in poverty than other workers, and are more likely to rely on public assistance. USA TODAY, 31 Mar. 2024 Officials have instead been relying on two crane barges, and a 650-ton crane and a 330-ton crane to hoist massive steel trusses up onto barges. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2024 Instead, many public beaches in Michigan, rely on a flag system. Jennifer Dixon, Detroit Free Press, 31 Mar. 2024 For decades, these facilities have relied on traditional methods and incremental improvements to manage operations. Timothy Papandreou, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 On the positive side: Lugo relied on his experience throughout the game. Jaylon Thompson, Kansas City Star, 30 Mar. 2024 The pals can manage for a month on very little, relying on the versatility of black leggings and black tops, says LaLonde. Stacey Lastoe, Condé Nast Traveler, 30 Mar. 2024 Then the sixth episode fell completely flat, relying on one ridiculously laughable coincidence and a lot of heavy-handed seeding for a wishful second season. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rely.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English relien to rally, from Anglo-French relier to retie, gather, rally, from Latin religare to tie out of the way, from re- + ligare to tie — more at ligature

First Known Use

1574, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of rely was in 1574

Dictionary Entries Near rely

Cite this Entry

“Rely.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rely. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

rely

verb
re·​ly ri-ˈlī How to pronounce rely (audio)
relied; relying
1
: to have confidence based on experience
someone you can rely on
2
: to be dependent
the system on which we rely for water

Legal Definition

rely

intransitive verb
re·​ly
relied; relying
: to depend with confidence : place faith

More from Merriam-Webster on rely

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