• synonyms


or de·pend·ance

[dih-pen-duh ns]
See more synonyms for dependence on Thesaurus.com
  1. the state of relying on or needing someone or something for aid, support, or the like.
  2. reliance; confidence; trust: Her complete reliability earned her our dependence.
  3. an object of reliance or trust.
  4. the state of being conditional or contingent on something, as through a natural or logical sequence: the dependence of an effect upon a cause.
  5. the state of being psychologically or physiologically dependent on a drug after a prolonged period of use.
  6. subordination or subjection: the dependence of Martinique upon France.
Show More

Origin of dependence

1400–50; late Middle English dependaunce < Old French dependance, equivalent to depend(re) (see depend) + -ance -ence
Related formsnon·de·pend·ance, nounnon·de·pend·ence, nouno·ver·de·pend·ence, nounpre·de·pend·ence, nounself-de·pend·ence, nounsem·i·de·pend·ence, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for dependences

Historical Examples

  • Claims made by their pride and their self-respect, and their weaknesses and dependences.

    The Research Magnificent

    H. G. Wells

  • But yet it is less danger, to have an ambitious man stirring in business, than great in dependences.


    Francis Bacon

  • I shall take for granted that you have a fairly plain idea of the stomach and its dependences.

  • My ground-plan of the cathedral and its dependences will show at a glance how unusual and remarkable the whole scheme is.

  • The whole of the German-speaking portion of the canton proper and its dependences seem to have accepted the Reformation at once.

British Dictionary definitions for dependences


sometimes US dependance

  1. the state or fact of being dependent, esp for support or help
  2. reliance; trust; confidence
  3. rare an object or person relied upon
Show More
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 dependences



early 15c., from Middle French dépendance, from dependre (see depend). Originally also dependance (the earlier form), depending whether the writer had French or Latin foremost in mind; the Latin form gradually predominated and after c.1800 dependance is rare. As an adjective from c.1600.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dependences in Medicine


  1. The state of being dependent, as for support.
  2. Subordination to someone or something needed or greatly desired.
  3. A compulsive or chronic need; an addiction.
Show More
Related formsde•penden•cy n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.