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[dih-pend] /dɪˈpɛnd/
verb (used without object)
to rely; place trust (usually followed by on or upon):
You may depend on the accuracy of the report.
to rely for support, maintenance, help, etc. (usually followed by on or upon):
Children depend on their parents.
to be conditioned or contingent (usually followed by on or upon):
His success here depends upon effort and ability.
to be undetermined or pending:
I may go to Europe or I may not, it all depends.
Grammar. (of a word or other linguistic form) to be subordinate to another linguistic form in the same construction; to form a part of a construction other than the head.
to hang down; be suspended (usually followed by from):
The chandelier depends from the ceiling of the ballroom.
Origin of depend
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English dependen < Old French dependre < Latin dēpendere to hang down, equivalent to dē- de- + pendere to hang
Related forms
interdepend, verb (used without object)
redepend, verb (used without object)
self-depending, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for depend
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The size of the loom will depend on what you are working but we presume that it is a chain.

  • depend upon it, this happiness is too subtle and too divine a thing for our management.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • He'll fetch her home safe at last, and no mistake, depend on it, Squire.

    The Attache Thomas Chandler Haliburton
  • Their condition must depend much on what they were before the conflict befell them.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • What we'll do if we find him will depend upon circumstances.

British Dictionary definitions for depend


verb (intransitive)
foll by on or upon. to put trust (in); rely (on); be sure (of)
usually foll by on or upon; often with it as subject. to be influenced or determined (by); be resultant (from): whether you come or not depends on what father says, it all depends on you
foll by on or upon. to rely (on) for income, support, etc
(foll by from) (rare) to hang down; be suspended
to be undecided or pending
Word Origin
C15: from Old French dependre, from Latin dēpendēre to hang from, from de- + pendēre to hang
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 depend

early 15c., "to be attached to as a condition or cause," a figurative use, from Middle French dependre, literally "to hang from, hang down," from Latin dependere "to hang from, hang down; be dependent on, be derived," from de- "from, down" (see de-) + pendere "to hang, be suspended" (see pendant). Related: Depended; depending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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