or de·pend·ant

[ dih-pen-duhnt ]
See synonyms for: dependentdependents on

  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.

  1. subordinate; subject: a dependent territory.

  2. 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).

  3. hanging down; pendent.

  4. Mathematics.

    • (of a variable) having values determined by one or more independent variables.

    • (of an equation) having solutions that are identical to those of another equation or to those of a set of equations.

  5. Statistics. (of an event or a value) not statistically independent.

  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.

  1. Archaic. a subordinate part.

Origin of dependent

First recorded in 1375–1425, dependent is from the late Middle English word dependaunt.See depend, -ent

Other words from dependent

  • de·pend·ent·ly, de·pend·ant·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·de·pend·ent, adjective
  • pre·de·pend·ent, adjective
  • qua·si-de·pend·ent, adjective
  • qua·si-de·pend·ent·ly, adverb
  • self-de·pend·ent, adjective
  • self-de·pend·ent·ly, adverb
  • sem·i·de·pend·ent, adjective
  • sem·i·de·pend·ent·ly, adverb
  • un·de·pend·ent, adjective

Words Nearby dependent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dependent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dependent


sometimes US dependant

/ (dɪˈpɛndənt) /

  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)

  1. subordinate; subject: a dependent prince

  2. obsolete hanging down

  3. maths

    • (of a variable) having a value depending on that assumed by a related independent variable

    • (of a linear equation) having every solution as a solution of one or more given linear equations

  1. grammar an element in a phrase or clause that is not the governor

  2. a variant spelling (esp US) of dependant

confusable For dependent

Avoid confusion with dependant

Derived forms of dependent

  • 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