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[dih-pen-duh nt] /dɪˈpɛn dənt/
adjective, noun
Related forms
dependantly, adverb
Can be confused
dependant, dependent.


or dependant

[dih-pen-duh nt] /dɪˈpɛn dənt/
relying on someone or something else for aid, support, etc.
conditioned or determined by something else; contingent:
Our trip is dependent on the weather.
subordinate; subject:
a dependent territory.
Grammar. not used in isolation; used only in connection with other forms. In I walked out when the bell rang, when the bell rang is a dependent clause.
Compare independent (def 14), main1 (def 4).
hanging down; pendent.
  1. (of a variable) having values determined by one or more independent variables.
  2. (of an equation) having solutions that are identical to those of another equation or to those of a set of equations.
Statistics. (of an event or a value) not statistically independent.
a person who depends on or needs someone or something for aid, support, favor, etc.
a child, spouse, parent, or certain other relative to whom one contributes all or a major amount of necessary financial support:
She listed two dependents on her income-tax form.
Archaic. a subordinate part.
Origin of dependent
late Middle English
First recorded in 1375-1425, dependent is from the late Middle English word dependaunt. See depend, -ent
Related forms
dependently, adverb
overdependent, adjective
predependent, adjective
quasi-dependent, adjective
quasi-dependently, adverb
self-dependent, adjective
self-dependently, adverb
semidependent, adjective
semidependently, adverb
undependent, adjective
Can be confused
dependant, dependent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dependant
Historical Examples
  • I can feel for a dependant now, and set some value on his attachment.'

  • The position was that of a dependant; and how would Tony figure in such a post?

    Tony Butler Charles James Lever
  • You can't wound me, either, by retaliating, and calling me a dependant.

    The Daltons, Volume I (of II) Charles James Lever
  • A dependant was praising his patron for many virtues which he did not possess.

    The Jest Book Mark Lemon
  • The more idle and dependant on others, the greater the renown.

    The Young Maiden

    A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey
  • You cannot deny, rash and foolish boy, that you are in a dependant state.

  • Does not this prove that it is contagious, and not dependant on the atmosphere?

    Diary in America, Series One Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)
  • Yes, I wish you to go into the world, not as a dependant, but as an equal to the world's favourites.

    Lucretia, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • At any rate he was not Lady Lufton's servant, nor even her dependant.

    Framley Parsonage

    Anthony Trollope
  • She was a dependant, a servant: how could she expect such attentions?

    Around the Yule Log Willis Boyd Allen
British Dictionary definitions for dependant


a person who depends on another person, organization, etc, for support, aid, or sustenance, esp financial support


depending on a person or thing for aid, support, life, etc
(postpositive; foll by on or upon) influenced or conditioned (by); contingent (on)
subordinate; subject: a dependent prince
(obsolete) hanging down
  1. (of a variable) having a value depending on that assumed by a related independent variable
  2. (of a linear equation) having every solution as a solution of one or more given linear equations
(grammar) an element in a phrase or clause that is not the governor
a variant spelling (esp US) of dependant
Derived Forms
dependently, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dependant

also dependent, late 14c.; of persons, from 1580s, from French dépendant (adjective and noun), properly present participle of dépendre "to hang down," also "to depend," from Latin dependentem (see depend).

As a noun, from early 15c., originally "action growing out of another action." As with its relative dependence, the Latin-influenced variant (in this case dependent) co-existed through 18c., but with this word the French spelling has proven more durable in English, possibly because it has been found convenient to keep both, one (dependant) for the noun, the other (dependent) for the adjective.


15c., variant spelling of dependant, now mostly restricted to adjectival use; see -ance. Dependent variable in mathematics is recorded from 1852.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dependant in Medicine

dependent de·pend·ent (dĭ-pěn'dənt)

  1. Contingent on or subordinate to another.

  2. Relying on or requiring the aid of another for support.

  3. Hanging down.

One who relies on another especially for financial support.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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