• synonyms


[dih-pen-duh nt]
See more synonyms for dependant on Thesaurus.com
adjective, noun
  1. dependent.
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Related formsde·pend·ant·ly, adverb
Can be confuseddependant dependent


or de·pend·ant

[dih-pen-duh nt]
  1. relying on someone or something else for aid, support, etc.
  2. conditioned or determined by something else; contingent: Our trip is dependent on the weather.
  3. subordinate; subject: a dependent territory.
  4. 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).
  5. hanging down; pendent.
  6. Mathematics.
    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.
  7. Statistics. (of an event or a value) not statistically independent.
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  1. a person who depends on or needs someone or something for aid, support, favor, etc.
  2. 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.
  3. Archaic. a subordinate part.
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Origin of dependent

First recorded in 1375–1425, dependent is from the late Middle English word dependaunt. See depend, -ent
Related formsde·pend·ent·ly, adverbo·ver·de·pend·ent, adjectivepre·de·pend·ent, adjectivequa·si-de·pend·ent, adjectivequa·si-de·pend·ent·ly, adverbself-de·pend·ent, adjectiveself-de·pend·ent·ly, adverbsem·i·de·pend·ent, adjectivesem·i·de·pend·ent·ly, adverbun·de·pend·ent, adjective
Can be confuseddependant dependent
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dependant

Historical Examples

  • I can feel for a dependant now, and set some value on his attachment.'

    Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit

    Charles Dickens

  • 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.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for dependant


  1. a person who depends on another person, organization, etc, for support, aid, or sustenance, esp financial support
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Avoid confusion with dependent


sometimes US dependant

  1. depending on a person or thing for aid, support, life, etc
  2. (postpositive; foll by on or upon) influenced or conditioned (by); contingent (on)
  3. subordinate; subjecta dependent prince
  4. obsolete hanging down
  5. maths
    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
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  1. grammar an element in a phrase or clause that is not the governor
  2. a variant spelling (esp US) of dependant
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Derived Formsdependently, adverb


Avoid confusion with dependant
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

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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dependant in Medicine


  1. Contingent on or subordinate to another.
  2. Relying on or requiring the aid of another for support.
  3. Hanging down.
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  1. One who relies on another especially for financial support.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.