or de·pend·ance

[dih-pen-duh ns]


the state of relying on or needing someone or something for aid, support, or the like.
reliance; confidence; trust: Her complete reliability earned her our dependence.
an object of reliance or trust.
the state of being conditional or contingent on something, as through a natural or logical sequence: the dependence of an effect upon a cause.
the state of being psychologically or physiologically dependent on a drug after a prolonged period of use.
subordination or subjection: the dependence of Martinique upon France.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for self-dependence

Historical Examples of self-dependence

  • That shows their goodheartedness, but it does away with self-dependence.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • I am accustomed to a kind of loneliness and self-dependence.

    Elsie Venner

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  • It was here I got my first lessons in self-dependence and life's struggles.

  • Self-dependence had in a measure changed her, as my life on the frontier had altered me.

    Buckskin Mose

    Buckskin Mose

  • Neither work nor the spirit of self-dependence are antagonistic to prayer.

British Dictionary definitions for self-dependence


sometimes US dependance


the state or fact of being dependent, esp for support or help
reliance; trust; confidence
rare an object or person relied upon
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 self-dependence



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

self-dependence in Medicine




The state of being dependent, as for support.
Subordination to someone or something needed or greatly desired.
A compulsive or chronic need; an addiction.
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.